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WHAT IS A THIRD-PARTY CLAIM?

Some on-the-job accidents involve two claims. For example, if you are involved in an

on-the-job car accident, you may have two claims. You have a workers’ compensation claim

and you may also sue the other driver if the accident was not your fault (you still qualify for a

workers’ compensation claim even if the auto accident was your fault).

The claim against the other driver or other person is called a Third-Party Claim. The

workers’ compensation insurance company will have the right to be reimbursed what it spends on your claim from the Third-Party Claim. It is like you and the workers’ compensation

insurance company will be suing the other driver and their insurance company.

The claim against the other driver is brought in state-court, not workers’ compensation

court and you must give the workers’ compensation insurance company notice that you are

making a claim against the third-party. If you settle the auto accident claim without giving the

workers’ compensation insurance company notice of the claim, the workers’ compensation

insurance company will be entitled to a credit for the amount you received from the Third-Party.

You do not want to settle the auto-accident claim without involving the workers’ compensation insurance company and their attorneys. You can, sometimes, settle your workers’ compensation claim and, as part of that settlement, the workers’ compensation insurance company can “waive their claim” or agree that you keep the proceeds of the Third-Party Claim.

Consult with an experienced workers’ compensation lawyer before making any major

decisions regarding a Third-Party Claim.

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