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When Workers’ Comp and Personal Injury Cases Intersect

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Lawyers working on a crossover case

In some cases, an employee may sustain a work-related injury for which an employer and another party are jointly responsible. These are known as crossover cases, which can be challenging to navigate as injured employees try to identify negligent parties and prove negligence. 

What Is a Crossover Case?

Crossover cases may enable injured workers to seek compensation from a third party along with their employer through a workers’ compensation case. In these cases, another person or entity may be liable for an accident and injuries that took place on the job.

Most work injuries involve workers’ compensation insurance, which covers medical bills and lost wages following a work-related accident. However, some cases may warrant an additional personal injury claim that aims to recover compensation for pain and suffering and other damages.

Building a Crossover Case

Workers’ compensation works differently from personal injury cases in a number of ways. For example, injury victims don’t need to prove fault to qualify for workers’ compensation benefits, provided the injury occurred within the scope of employment. Meanwhile, a personal injury claim will require the victim to prove who was at fault for the injury before recovering compensation.

The potential complexities of a crossover case make it necessary for victims to collect as much evidence as possible to support their personal injury claim. Documentation to retain could include medical bills, depositions, medical records and evaluations, and settlement discussions.

Workers’ compensation cases also tend to start much earlier than personal injury claims because of a shorter statute of limitations. The main advantage here is that investigations into the case could take place much sooner before initiating the personal injury case.

Working With Attorneys

Many crossover cases involve working with both a workers’ compensation and personal injury attorney, which relies on their cooperation throughout the case to ensure a smoother process. On the other hand, there are some attorneys with experience in both areas who may be able to help build a crossover case. If an attorney has a background in both practice areas, this could help simplify the case and keep all evidence and other aspects consistently organized.

If work injury victims believe that their employer shared liability with another party, they may ultimately be able to file a personal injury case and workers’ compensation claim concurrently.

About the Author

Kurt D. Lloyd is a plaintiff’s trial lawyer who focuses on medical malpractice and other catastrophic injury cases. He lives in Chicago and represents injured clients throughout Illinois. He is also the founder of Lloyd Law Group, Ltd.

Chicago accident lawyer Kurt D. Lloyd