In Arizona an employee hurt on the job, during the course and scope of his or her employment, generally has a worker’s compensation claim.
Such a claim allows the worker to have his or her medical bills paid, and receive payment of a limited percentage of lost income, there is no compensation for pain and suffering.
This worker’s compensation claim is allowed regardless of whether it is the employee’s fault, the employer’s fault or the fault of a third party, that is, someone else. No lawsuit is necessary for the benefits to be paid, the employer cannot be sued.
If a third party, like another driver or business is at fault, then the injured worker may also have a third party claim, for personal injury damages.
The claim for personal injury damages requires that fault be shown, if so then the injured worker may have claims for the medical bills, the full amount of lost income, and for his or her injuries, pain and suffering and other damages. A lawsuit may or may not be necessary in order to receive a personal injury settlement.
Examples of third party personal injury claims, where an employee was hurt on the job, and also received worker’s compensation include the following cases:
• I represented a client, who fell on the job, due to a tripping hazard, she underwent shoulder surgery, and she sustained a permanent injury. She received worker’s compensation and she received a personal injury settlement.
• I represented an employee who fell in a parking lot, while on the job. She suffered eye, head, and leg injuries. She also received a personal injury settlement, from the insurance carrier for the property manager.
• I represented a client, who was injured when his vehicle was rear ended by a police vehicle. He received worker’s compensation and an injury settlement, from the employer of the police officer.
• I represented a driver whose company vehicle was hit, he was injured and he received worker’s compensation and a third party settlement from the other driver’s insurance company. My client also received an underinsurance (UIM) settlement because the other driver had only minimum limits coverage.
If a personal injury settlement is obtained the worker’s compensation carrier has a claim for reimbursement of benefits paid, the extent of its claim varies from case to case.