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Is a civil claim an option after a work accident?

A serious work accident can leave a Louisiana worker facing complex injuries and other issues, such as expensive medical bills, inability to return to work and other complications. While many injured workers have grounds to move forward with a workers' compensation claim, that is not always the only option available to you. It might be appropriate to file a civil claim as well. 

In very specific circumstances, it may be a smart choice to file a claim against a third party in addition to or instead of a workers' compensation claim. If you think this is a viable option for you, you would be wise to know all of your options before you move forward. You have the right to seek recovery of your financial losses.

How do I know if I have a case?

In most cases, workers cannot sue their employer after a work accident. In fact, when a person files for workers' compensation benefits, he or she relinquishes the right to sue the employer. However, there may be a third party who is liable for your suffering, and you could have grounds to move forward with a civil claim against that party.

If you are considering a third-party claim, it can be helpful to understand the following facts: 

  • One of the most common reasons to file a workers' compensation claim after a work accident is because of defective or dangerous equipment.
  • If you are successful with your civil claim, you may be required to repay a portion of any workers' compensation benefits you received.
  • Your employer may want to be a party to your claim in order to recover any financial losses the business suffered because of the accident.

You have the right to explore all of your legal options after a work accident, which may include the option to file a third-party civil claim.

Pursuing the recovery you deserve

You are entitled to a full and fair recovery after a work accident. A complete evaluation of your case can help you understand if it is beneficial to seek workers' compensation benefits or if a third-party claim against a liable party is most beneficial.

It can be difficult to know what to do after an accident in the workplace, but you do not have to walk through the aftermath alone. You are entitled to an explanation of your choices and the rights you have as an injured worker.

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