Connecticut workers who suffer workplace injuries are entitled to compensation from their employer without needing to establish the employer’s fault. However, the amount of the benefits is limited by state law, and the prescribed workers’ compensation benefits frequently fail to provide full compensation. If another party is partially liable for the work-related injuries, the worker can recover those damages (less worker’s compensation benefits) in a civil lawsuit. Such claims are often called “third-party claims.” In a recent case, the third-party liability claim was settled, resulting in an additional payment of $425,000 to the injured worker.

The employee was driving a company vehicle when he was struck by a vehicle driven by a person who was backing out of his driveway. The worker suffered back pain, herniated discs and a loss of feeling in his right leg. He underwent spinal fusion surgery, but the surgery was not 100% successful. The worker will need another, more invasive fusion surgery in the near future.

The employee filed a civil suit against the driver in Hartford Superior Court to recover damages that were not paid by worker’s compensation benefits. The complaint alleged that the driver failed to check for other vehicles, failed to yield the right-of-way and continued to back out of the driveway when it was not safe to do so. Trial in the civil case was scheduled to commence on July 25, but the parties settled the case. Under the terms of the settlement, the injured worker will receive $425,000 in addition to his worker’s compensation benefits.

Third-party claims add an additional level of complexity to the workers’ compensation claims process. Anyone who has been injured by or lost a loved one in an on-the-job accident may wish to consult an experienced workers’ compensation attorney for advice on the claims process and potential third-party claims.

Source: Connecticut Law Tribune, “Connecticut Man Seriously Injured in Crash Gets $425,000,” Robert Storace, July 3, 2017