After a workplace injury, you are bound to have a lot of questions. Who’s going to pay for your medical bills? What will you do about missing work? Can you sue your coworker if they caused your injuries?
You may even be considering filing for workers’ compensation at the same time as pursuing a personal injury claim. Learn more about your options now, and for more personalized advice regarding your claim, call Reeves & Mestayer at 228-374-5151.
Know Who You Can Sue
Mississippi, like most other states, has a comprehensive workers’ compensation system that benefits employees and employers alike. Employees can get compensation for injuries that happen at work without having to prove that their employer acted negligently. Employers can fairly compensate employees without having to worry about the expense and stress of personal injury claims.
However, this also takes away your right to sue your employer after an accident. Even if you have conclusive proof that your employer or coworker acted negligently, all you can claim is workers’ compensation.
This does not mean that you can never file a personal injury claim. However, this option is restricted to specific situations and circumstances.
When You Can Pursue a Personal Injury Claim
You may be able to file a personal injury claim against someone if a third party was involved in your accident. This includes anyone who is not employed by your employer. For example, you’re a store manager traveling between your two locations while on the clock. A negligent driver strikes you and totals your car.
In this case, you would be able to seek damages from the driver of the other car. You may also be able to seek compensation from another party if, for example, an angry customer at work assaulted you. Since they were not employed by your company, you can file a claim against them.
How It Works If You Pursue Workers’ Comp and a Personal Injury Claim
It is important to work with a personal injury attorney if you decide to seek damages from a liable third party. There can be a lot of overlap in terms of what personal injury claims pay and what workers’ compensation pays. Without an attorney, you risk double dipping and getting into serious legal trouble.
Basically, you cannot be compensated for the same thing twice. If workers’ compensation pays 75% of your wages for the time you are off of work, you cannot also collect money for your lost wages from your personal injury claim. How this often works is that workers’ compensation pays out the quickest, since it does not involve proving fault or liability. This allows you to get some money coming in and keep your financial situation stable.
When your personal injury claim is resolved, either through settlement negotiations or through a court hearing, workers’ compensation is then repaid for the medical bills and lost wages they paid you.
Discuss Your Options with an Attorney
If you are thinking about pursuing a personal injury claim after a workplace accident, it is essential to meet with your attorney first and make a plan. They will be able to tell you whether or not your personal injury claim is strong enough to succeed. If it is, they can help you gather the necessary evidence and build a case on your behalf. Without an attorney, you could end up with no settlement offer from the other side’s insurance company or you could end up with an insultingly low settlement that doesn’t cover your expenses.
Reach Out to Reeves & Mestayer Today
When you choose Reeves & Mestayer for your workplace injury claim, you can feel confident that your claim is in good hands. Our aggressive approach to personal injury claims has helped many clients recover the compensation they truly deserve. The earlier you reach out to us and set up a consultation, the sooner we can explore your options and help you get started. To take the first step and set up a consultation, call us at 228-374-5151 or contact us online. We look forward to serving you.