A third-party claim is a personal injury claim that occurs while you are on-the-clock with the employer who pays you, but on the property or under the direction of someone else. When this happens, you have a workers’ compensation claim against your employer and a third-party claim against the party who is not your employer but who directed the activity or controlled the unsafe premises that harmed you.
My name is Sara L. Gabin. I have been helping injured workers in the Portland Metropolitan area bring third-party claims for over 30 years. I consider every detail and work with my client to devise a strategy that will bring about the best possible outcome.Making the Third –Party Own up to Its Responsibility.
An example of a third-party claim might be getting hurt on a customer’s property under the customer’s control while on a work assignment for your employer. Another example might be getting hurt on a construction site your employer sent you to but while under the direction of a contractor who does not pay you. In these examples, both unsafe premises situations, the person having control of the injury site may have failed to discover unsafe conditions and do what was reasonable to make the premises safe for visitors. Another example might be getting hurt in a car crash while on the way to a work assignment. In this situation, the at-fault drive may not have followed the rules of the road.Steps you Need to Take
Your first priority, after you regain your bearings, is to file a workers’ compensation claim. Although your employer should conduct an investigation that will identify the presence of third-party involvement, you should also contact an experienced personal injury lawyer as soon as possible because it may be necessary to hire professionals to investigate the scene of injury before evidence changes or disappears.
As soon as you are able, take as many photographs as possible of the accident scene.
Get prompt medical treatment and follow medical advice 100 percent.
Return to work and your other life activities as soon as possible, as your doctor allows.Time Limits
Oregon law allows either the worker or the worker’s direct employer to bring the claim. The employer must give the worker a “Notice of Election.” If you receive a “Notice of Election,” do not ignore it because it comes with a time limit and you do not want to lose the opportunity to go forward. Get legal advice right away.
Other time limits apply, such as how long before a lawsuit must be filed. Time limits for filing a lawsuit typically are two years from the date you have been hurt. However, some claims involve longer or shorter time limits. For this reason alone it is important to get competent legal advice.Fees
Fees are strictly contingent and set by statute. Attorney fees are 33 1/3 percent of the full recovery.
After deducting attorney fees, the workers’ compensation carrier receives the lesser of the amount of its lien or two-thirds of what remains after attorney fees are paid. You receive at least one-third of what remains after attorney fees are paid, or at least 22 percent of the full recovery.Costs
In nearly all cases, I will incur out–of–pocket costs. These are not attorney fees, but are fees for such things as medical record duplicating charges. attorney/doctor conferences, treating doctor medical reports, forensic investigation, expert witness fees, filing fees, court reporting fees, arbitration and trial court fees, and so on.
I incur these expenses only when necessary to prepare properly. I am bound to follow Oregon State Bar ethical rules that require the client to assume responsibility for these costs if the client is able to pay. Therefore, I will bill for these costs but will not expect payment unless you can afford to reimburse me.Discuss Your Third-Party Claim with a Portland Area Attorney.
Third – party claims are like many other injury claims. They cause immediate life disruption at the very least and can leave permanent losses. I am a lawyer who has handled third-party claims for injured persons in Lake Oswego and elsewhere in Multnomah, Clackamas, Washington and Yamhill Counties over 30 years. I am committed to helping you recover as much as possible. Contact Sara L. Gabin at (503) 620-3171 or online to discuss your case. Free Consultation.