Third party cases

If you’ve been injured at work and you have started the process of seeking workers’ compensation, you may have heard the term “third-party claim” thrown around. While a third-party claim is not always an option after a workplace injury, when it is, it can significantly increase the amount of compensation you may receive.

It all starts with choosing the right lawyer for your claim. Get started now by contacting The Dodd Law Firm at 203-272-1883.

What is the Difference Between a Workers’ Comp Claim and a Third-Party Claim?

While both of these types of compensation aim to make you whole after a workplace accident, they are different in several key ways. Workers’ compensation is a type of protection offered to employees who are injured at work, regardless of who is at fault.

It’s essentially a deal between the workers and the company—it protects companies from personal injury claims and ensures that employees receive some form of compensation without having to prove someone else’s negligence. Part of this trade-off is that your compensation is limited. Employees are generally entitled to up to 75% of their average weekly wage and coverage of their medical expenses.

Third-party claims are personal injury claims against someone who is not your employer or anyone who is employed by the company you work for. Like any other personal injury claim, you must prove the other party’s negligence and their role in your injuries.

Knowing If You Can File a Third-Party Claim

Everything depends on who is responsible for your injury. Consider, for example, a conventional office job. One of your coworkers drops a printer on your foot while trying to move it into their office. It shatters several of your foot bones and leaves you off work for weeks, during which you collect workers’ compensation. Since the person responsible for your injuries is a coworker, you cannot bring a personal injury claim against them, no matter how obvious their negligence may be.

Consider another example. You have a sales job that involves driving from client site to client site. One day while traveling between sites, you get T-boned by a negligent driver who was texting while driving. This person does not work for your company but is obviously responsible for your accident. In this situation, you would have a third-party claim.

Some of the parties commonly involved in third-party claims include;

  • Drivers who hit you while you are driving and performing work duties
  • A contractor, subcontractor, or freelancer on a job site
  • The party who owns the property where you are injured, assuming that your employer does not own it
  • The manufacturer of a product that caused your workplace injury

Where Should You Start?

You should generally start with workers’ compensation. The waiting period is much shorter and doesn’t require that you prove negligence, so you can start getting treatment and partial income replacement right away. You can then start the process of a personal injury claim, which may give you the chance to recover more compensation.

Keep in mind that any benefits you receive from workers’ compensation will need to be repaid if your third-party claim is successful. That money is generally repaid from your settlement or court award before you get your portion.

Using an Attorney is the Best Way to Protect Yourself

A workplace injury can leave you stressed and overwhelmed, but you should still move quickly to explore your options. You generally only have a limited time frame to file a personal injury claim, and evidence has a short shelf life. If you don’t gather evidence right away after an injury, you’ll likely lose it forever. If you consult a workers’ compensation attorney, they will be able to look at the details of your case and figure out whether or not a third-party claim is an option for you.

Contact The Dodd Law Firm to Explore Your Legal Options

We’re here to help you as you begin the process of recovering from a workplace injury. Set up a time to talk to our team now by reaching out online or calling us at 203-272-1883. Whether you have a straightforward workers’ compensation claim or a third-party claim, we will be by your side the entire time.

Statute of Limitations and Statutory Notice Requirements

When you’re injured as a result of someone else’s negligence, time is not on your side. You have a limited amount of time to file a lawsuit against the negligent party and seek compensation. If you wait too long and fall outside the legally permitted timeframe, your case will almost certainly be dismissed.

To make matters even more complicated, the process isn’t the same if your claim is against the government. You have to follow an entirely separate process to sue the government entity responsible for your injuries.

Learn more about your legal obligations and options under Connecticut law, and to get more personalized advice regarding your claim, call The Dodd Law Firm at 203-272-1883.

The Statute of Limitations Under Connecticut Law

The vast majority of personal injury claims have a two-year statute of limitations in Connecticut. This is applicable both to claims based on negligence and intentional tort claims. For most injuries, the two years begin at the moment the injury is sustained.

For example, if you are involved in a car accident, you know right away that you could be injured. However, in some cases, it is impossible to know that you have been injured right away. Consider, for example, long-term exposure to hazardous chemicals that cause a fatal illness. In situations where the injury is not immediately known, the two-year clock starts when the injury is first noticed or when it should reasonably have been noticed.

Exceptions to the Statute of Limitations

There are several exceptions that halt the two-year statute of limitations. Consider a situation where the negligent party flees the state after the injuries occur. If they leave after the accident but before the lawsuit can reasonably be filed, the clock doesn’t start until they return. If your statute of limitations is extended this way, it still maxes out at seven years.

The statute of limitations is also often paused if the negligent party intentionally obscures what happened and how they caused the accident or your injuries. This is a bit more nuanced and definitely requires the assistance of a Connecticut personal injury attorney.

The statute of limitations differs for product defect claims. In these situations, the statute of limitations is three years.

What is a Statutory Notice?

The statute of limitations described above applies to claims against private individuals and entities. Different rules apply if your claim is against the government, and you must notify the government of your intent to file before you actually move forward with a claim. In general, claims against the state must commence no later than one year after the injury occurs. If the injury is not immediately known, the clock starts when the injury should have reasonably been discovered. This time frame must not exceed three years.

Statutory Notice Requirements for Different Types of Claims

If you were injured as a result of a defective highway, you have only 90 days to notify the municipality of your injury and your intent to file a claim against them. This is an incredibly short timeframe, and you must move quickly to avoid giving up your right to sue. Upon meeting the notice requirement, you have two years to move forward with your lawsuit.

If you have a dram shop claim, which involves a bar or other venue overserving an individual who then causes injury or death, you have 120 days if the victim was injured. If the victim was incapacitated or killed, there is a 180-day window to send a notice. From there, you have one year to file a lawsuit.

Housing authority claim notices must be sent within six months of the injury, and after the notice is sent, you have two years to file the lawsuit.

Lawsuits against municipal employees can only commence after a notice is sent within six months of the injury. The statute of limitations is then two years. Claims against volunteer firefighters, police officers, and ambulance workers must be preceded by a claim within six months of the injury. After a waiting period of 30 days, you have one year to file a lawsuit.

Begin Your Personal Injury Claim with The Dodd Law Firm

If you’ve been injured due to negligence, don’t wait to file a claim. You could completely lose your shot at compensation. The Dodd Law Firm is here to help you as you fight for justice. Call us at 203-272-1883 or contact us online to set up a consultation now.

Notice requirements also exist in cases against other categories of defendants.

To be sure that you are able recover for injuries that you have sustained, it is important to contact an attorney in a timely fashion. A list of parties against whom there are notice requirements and deadlines is provided below.

Type of Case Notice Deadline
Injury caused by Defective Road or Sidewalk 90 days
Dram Shop (negligent service of alcohol by a bar) 120 days – 180 days (if the event of death or incapacity)
Injury caused by City of Town Employee 6 months
Injury caused by a Housing Authority in Connecticut 6 months
Injury caused by the State of Connecticut 1 year