If employees are injured on the job, multiple parties may be responsible for the accident, including employers and third parties. This leads to crossover cases that combine personal injury and workers’ compensation claims.
There are certain things to know about crossover cases and how they work. If injured employees wish to recover a fair settlement in the event of work injuries involving more than the employer, knowing how to approach crossover cases may help reach that settlement.
What Are Crossover Cases?
Crossover cases, also known as third-party liability claims, take place when multiple parties share responsibility for work injuries. Crossover cases enable workers to seek compensation from both the employer and one or more additional negligent entities.
Workers’ compensation can cover medical costs and other financial losses during the recovery process following workplace accidents. Personal injury claims enable victims to pursue compensation for additional non-monetary damages, including pain and suffering and psychological distress. Crossover cases allow injury victims to pursue both types of compensation.
How Workers’ Comp and Personal Injury Differ
Personal injury and workers’ compensation are considerably different from each other in terms of the objectives, issues, and discovery practices driving them. In the case of workers’ comp benefits, it’s not required to show employer fault. The fault of other parties and the employee is also irrelevant to the case as long as the accident and injuries took place during the scope and course of employment.
The differences between both cases make it important to work with a workers’ comp attorney who has experience in crossover cases and can help develop an effective case plan.
Why Discovery Is Important in Crossover Cases
Individuals involved in crossover cases should keep in mind that workers’ compensation cases have earlier statutes of limitations compared to personal injury cases. Subsequently, workers’ comp cases tend to begin investigations much sooner, which can give claimants a chance to properly prepare personal injury cases before filing.
Throughout the investigation of a workers’ comp case, claimants and attorneys may be able to strengthen the personal injury case by gathering evidence early on. Investigations may entail inspecting the worksite or defective products responsible for injuries, along with witness and employer statements and written discovery from employers.
Navigating both workers’ comp and personal injury claims processes can be a challenge, but working with an attorney to investigate and prepare may help work injury victims seek full compensation.