Oklahoma’s Workers’ Compensation vs. Third Party Claims

The Oklahoma’s Workers’ Compensation system generally covers most workplace injuries and accidents. Workers’ compensation may also cover illnesses and other medical conditions that directly resulted from a person’s employment. Family members may also be entitled to death benefits if a worker dies from a job-related accident or illness.

However, injured workers may also have another claim that could provide much-needed compensation after a workplace accident. A Tulsa workers’ comp attorney can evaluate your claim to determine if you might have a claim against a third party or your employer.

What Does Workers’ Compensation Cover?

Workers’ comp is a no-fault system designed to provide medical care and benefits for injured workers. You do not need to prove that your employer or another party was negligent or at-fault for your injury to receive benefits, as you would in a personal injury claim. You must prove that the illness or injury occurred during the ordinary course of employment, and you did not intentionally cause your injury.

Workers’ comp benefits may include:
  • Payment for the cost of reasonable and necessary medical treatment
  • Wage benefits if the employee is unable to work or can only work light duty because of the injury or illness
  • Total disability benefits for permanent impairments and disabilities
  • Vocational rehabilitation benefits
  • Continued medical maintenance benefits for workers who have a permanent disability or impairment

The workers’ compensation system prevents workers from suing their employees for workplace injuries except under specific and narrow circumstances. In most cases, you would need to prove gross negligence or intentional wrongdoing to sue your employer.

Filing a Third-Party Claim for Work-Related Injuries

You might be able to sue a third party for your workplace injuries or illnesses if the party was negligent or committed other wrongdoing.

For example, if a defective hand tool caused your injury, you could sue the manufacturer for damages under a product liability claim. If the property owner was negligent in allowing dangerous conditions on the job site, you might have a premises liability claim.

Why Should I File a Third-Party Claim for a Work Injury?

Workers’ compensation does not cover all damages caused by injuries and illnesses in the workplace. Your wage benefits only cover a portion of your lost income because of a work injury. The compensation for permanent disabilities is also limited.

However, by filing a third party claim, you can seek full compensation for all income loss and other damages. You may also seek compensation for your physical pain, mental trauma, emotional distress, and other non-economic damages not covered by workers’ comp.

Contact a Tulsa Workers’ Comp Attorney for More Information

If you have questions about a workplace accident or injury, call The Law Office of Michael R. Green, PLLC at (866) 944-4733 to schedule your free consultation with a Tulsa workers’ compensation lawyer. We can help you with your claim, appealing a workers’ comp claim, and investigating potential third party claims. Let us help you receive the benefits you deserve after a work injury.