Two Potential Cases
The situation may arise where you get injured at your job and the fault is due to the negligence of some other individual completely outside of your job. In that situation you may have the ability to make two separate cases where you can be compensated by both. Let's look at an example.
Say, for instance, you are a pizza delivery driver and on your way to a customer's home, when you get rear-ended at a stop light. In that situation you can make two potential claims. The first one would be a worker's compensation claim you make with your job's insurance for lost wages and medical treatment. The other case would be against the person that rear-ended you. In that case you can go after the driver for pain and suffering, two elements that are not recoverable in a worker's compensation case. Additionally any lost wages that you didn't collect in the workers compensation case you could get from the individual that struck you. As workers compensation will only pay you up to two thirds of your salary it can be possible to get the remaining third from the other drivers insurance.
The cases are often intertwined and it is best to let one lawyer handle both cases if he is able to. Often the medical care that the injured person receives from the workers compensation case is used to prove the injury in the auto case. Having the same attorney on the file is useful because he will be in a position to know what is going on in both cases, and if necessary, supplement the treatment you are getting with the workers comp insurance with doctors outside of workers compensation who will get paid through the auto case. This can become necessary as oftentimes the work comp doctors are in such a hurry to get you out of there that you don't get the necessary documentation of your injury that you need to prove your auto case.
Further complicating matters is the fact that the workers compensation insurance company will have a lien on the personal injury case. They are entitled to get a certain amount of money back from your auto case settlement to reimburse them for the money that they already spent. But this is not necessarily a bad thing. The work comp lien often gives a lot more value to the personal injury case. These are damages that the auto insurance company know must be paid back so they have to take that into account when we go to settle with them. Then after the auto settlement is finalized, the lien for worker's comp can be negotiated for a lot less money than they originally spent.
Yes, it's complicated. That's why it is best to hire someone like myself, Adam Baron, who is able to handle both cases, as they go hand in hand. I will be in the best position to make decisions about both cases so that hey will not negatively affect each other. Please feel free to call me with any questions you may have about this scenario.