You were a victim of a work accident, and you probably want to sue your employer. You know you can file a workers’ compensation claim, but you don’t know if you can still hire the services of a Fresno personal injury attorney to help you file a personal injury claim along with the workers’ compensation claim. A personal injury claim is different from a workers’ compensation claim which could make you think it is possible to file both claims.
However, filing a worker’s compensation claims alongside a personal injury claim would mean you getting paid for the incident twice. This simply means that as an employee, you cannot file a personal injury claim against your employer if you have already filed a workers’ compensation claim. It is impossible to file a workers’ compensation claim alongside a personal injury claim.
Nevertheless, there are some workers’ compensation claims that get a third party involved. These types of claims occur when a third party played a role in the injury or the accident that got you injured. Such a case or claim is referred to as a ‘crossover claim’.
What Are Crossover Claims?
As you already know by now, you cannot file a workers’ compensation claim and still hire a Fresno personal injury attorney to file a personal injury claim. In spite of this, there are certain workers’ compensation claims that get a third party involved, and allow you to file a personal injury claim against this third party while still filling a personal injury claim against your employer. This type of case is called a ‘crossover claim’. A crossover claim is simply any case at all that envelops and deals with at least two different areas of the law. Crossover claims make it possible to file claims that include two, and even more areas of the law.
Crossover claims come into play only when there are third parties that contributed to your accident. You can only file a crossover claims when the condition and situation around your accident call for it. Without a third party playing a role in your accident, you cannot file a workers’ compensation claim that would, in the long run, result in a crossover claim. For instance, if you were a worker in a construction site and you got involved in an accident. Your lawyer is supposed to aim at getting you your full workers’ compensation claims, and still find a way of exposing any third party that may have played a role either knowingly or unknowingly in your injury or accident. When such a third party has been exposed, your attorney can now assist you in filing a personal injury claim against this third party. With this, you have inversely filed both a workers’ compensation claim and a personal injury claim. The workers’ compensation claim is filed against your employer, while the personal injury claim is filed against the appropriate third party.
Sourcing Out a Third Party for Your Claims
A third-party entity could be anyone present at the place of accident. Know that it is not just anyone but someone who played a role in the accident. The third-party cannot be your employer and must be unrelated to your employer. This is because you are already filing a workers’ compensation claim to your employer, and the law does not support double compensation. When sourcing out a third party for your claim, you are therefore searching for that individual who contributed to your accident or injury knowingly or unknowingly. Such an individual must have displayed certain careless attitudes or may have been negligent in their duties which eventually led to your accident. If your third-party claim happens to be against the government, then you have just six months to file the claim counting from the day you had the accident. All you need to achieve all this is an experienced attorney.
Choosing Your Crossover Claim Attorney
No one begins any case with the intention of losing it, but many individuals do lose several cases. This is because of the attorney handling the case. To end up successful in a crossover case, all you need is a professional attorney who is experienced in handling crossover cases. Do not hire an attorney whose first crossover case is yours. Hire a professional attorney who you are sure has the experience. You can conduct simple research before hiring an attorney to handle your case. Ask everyone you know about the attorney you want to hire, and also ask the attorney himself if he is experienced and capable.
Involving the Occupational Safety and Health Administration
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration, OSHA is an administration that is solely responsible for interviewing everyone present at a workplace anytime an accident occurs. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration goes as far as interviewing everyone on the job site the day the accident occurred, and most times they take the responsibility of interviewing everyone who went to the job site the week the accident occurred.
The function of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration is to determine who was involved in an accident. As a victim of the accident, it is advisable that you cooperate with the OSHA and provide the information you have. Involving the Occupational Safety and Health Administration is a vital step in cases such as workplace accidents as third parties and even your employers trust them well enough to allow them to investigate and determine who was involved in the accident. At this stage, you should have hired a professional attorney who is experienced with crossover claims already. The OSHA would invite you for an interview, and your attorney is expected to follow you.
In summary, you cannot file a workers’ compensation claim against your employer alongside a personal injury claim for the same accident. But if you are looking to file a workers’ compensation claim and at the same time file a personal injury claim, then a crossover claim and a good lawyer is all you need.