N.H. Work Injury: Workers’ Compensation or Personal Injury Claim?

By Benjamin T. King – Concord, NH Attorney

If you suffer a work-related injury, workers’ compensation benefits generally constitute the sole remedy you may recover against your employer. But, workers’ compensation benefits may not be your only remedy. You may have a third party claim against a person or entity other than your employer, if such a person or entity contributed to cause the injury.

Under what circumstances might you have a third party claim in addition to a workers’ compensation claim? A food delivery person involved in a motor vehicle accident caused by another driver’s negligence would have a workers’ compensation claim against his employer, as well as a personal injury claim against the negligent driver. An employee who falls on ice in his employer’s parking lot may have a third party claim in addition to a workers’ compensation claim, if the employer contracted with a separate entity to maintain the parking lot and that entity was negligent in treating the ice accumulations. An employee injured by defective machinery in the workplace may have a product liability claim against the manufacturer of the machinery, as well as a workers’ compensation claim.

It is important for an employee injured at work to explore the availability of third party claims, particularly because of the limited remedies available through workers’ compensation. Workers’ compensation compensates injured employees for their lost wages at a rate equal only to 60% of the worker’s average weekly wage. Workers’ compensation provides injured employees nothing for the pain and suffering, inconvenience and emotional distress. Through a third party claim, an employee may recover compensation for the damages that the workers’ compensation claim does not compensate.
If you have suffered an injury at work, you should contact an attorney experienced in pursuing all available compensation for work-related injuries. Please contact Attorney Benjamin King at Douglas, Leonard & Garvey, P.C. at 1-800-240-1988 or fill out our online contact form.

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