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Third Party Negligence at the Workplace

Steve Wagner

Indiana reports over 150,000 incidents of injuries at workplaces every year. The Indiana Worker’s Compensation Act is administered by the Worker’s Compensation Board of Indiana to ensure speedy assistance to injured employees. Indiana follows the private insurance worker’s compensation system. Employers also benefit by carrying worker’s compensation insurance. Failure to do so can attract punishment under Indiana law.

The primary objective of the Worker’s Compensation Act is to help victims recover completely and return to work without delay. The employee has to furnish proof of responsibility for the accident, but generally negligence on part of the employee or employer does not prevent payment of benefits. The services of a workplace injury attorney are essential for taking up these cases, particularly since Indiana laws are regularly updated. If you have been injured at your workplace, contact an Indiana work injury law firm immediately.

Who can claim compensation for workplace injuries caused by third party negligence?
Barring a few exceptions, Indiana requires all public and private employers to be covered by the Worker’s Compensation and Occupational Diseases Acts. Employees who are denied compensation for any reason should immediately contact the Worker’s Compensation Board or get advice from a workplace injury attorney.

The provisions of Ind. Code 22-3-2-5, 22-3-5-1, and 22-3-5-5 state that employers should ensure compensation coverage for all employees, including those in temporary, leased, employee lending and joint employee categories. They have to declare evidence of coverage to the Worker’s Compensation Board. Proper legal advice from an Indiana personal injury attorney is essential to understand the legal points of these cases.

‎What are you entitled regarding third party negligence at your workplace?
The Worker’s Compensation Act ensures that a worker who suffers personal injury during the course of his work is suitably and comprehensively compensated for medical treatment, loss of income and rehabilitation. Specific nature of injuries is clearly stated. Employees are entitled to reasonable essential medical expenses, along with compensation for loss of work and treatment related travel (IC 22-3-3-4). Compensation also covers benefits for disability and benefits for dependents in case of death.

However, though the Worker’s Compensation Act itself provides for fair compensation for third party related workplace injuries, the board has no jurisdiction to resolve such cases. The injured employee must file a civil suit to claim compensation from the third party.

Under the provisions of the Worker’s Compensation Act, the injured employee may claim and receive consideration for medical treatment and other expenses from the employer or insurance carriers. The latter can reclaim the amount from the employee after the court has settled the claim. They may even take up the case if the injured employee fails to sue the third party considered responsible.

Referring to IC 22-3-2 Chapter 2, Worker’s Compensation: Application, Rights, and Remedies:
“Every employer and every employee, except as stated in IC 22-3-2 through IC 22-3-6, shall comply with the provisions of IC 22-3-2 through IC 22-3-6 respectively to pay and accept compensation for personal injury or death by accident arising out of and in the course of the employment, and shall be bound thereby.”

The Worker’s Compensation Act is framed to ensure that workplace injury claims are settled justly by the Board without harming the interests of employees or employers. The rights of insurance carriers are also given due consideration. Since determining third party responsibility may involve complex issues, courts are best equipped to deliver a fair settlement in such disputes. The Board itself strongly recommends getting the advice of an Indiana personal injury lawyer in such cases. If you or a loved one has suffered a work injury, contact the experienced Indiana worker’s compensation benefits lawyers of Wagner Reese immediately.


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