Injured in a car accident at work
Pursuing legal action after an injury on the job is usually done through the Workers Compensation Board, but not always. In certain instances, a worker has the right to “opt out” of WCB coverage as long as they are not suing their employer. This means a worker can take personal legal action through a third party claim – that’s where we come in. As lawyers who exclusively represent injury victims we can assure you we are well equipped to represent you and get the settlement you rightly deserve.
However, determining when you can pursue legal action or if you have to go through the WCB can be complex; the WCB rules vary from province to province. For this article we will be referring to the WCB of Nova Scotia in regards to third party claims. Links to other provinces’ WCB will be provided below and we are familiar with the laws in these other provinces which we deal with regularly.
When can I “opt out” of WCB and pursue court action for my injuries?
You can pursue a third party claim when the injury you suffered on the job occurred during an automobile accident due to the negligence of another driver; an example the WCB of NS provides is “a delivery van being sideswiped by another driver”.
Normally, if the person who was at fault for your injuries was also covered by the WCB you would not be able to pursue a third party claim, but in the specific circumstance of a motor vehicle accident you can. Bear in mind that you still cannot sue a co-worker or your employer.
What steps need to be taken when pursuing a third party claim?
You will need to contact the WCB and let them know you wish to sue a third party and not claim your WCB benefits. They will then send you a Right of Action Against a Third Party Election Form which will need to be completed and sent back to the WCB within 180 days of your injury. For Nova Scotia, the WCB’s Legal Department can be reached at (902) 491-8917. If you retain us we can advise and look after all of this for you.
I’ve been in a car accident at work and I want to take court action, what should I do?
In a third party claim it is paramount that we work with you as soon as possible; we need to use your memory of the events to help build your case and it is best done when the event has recently occurred. We can also assist with gathering expert evidence to prove your issues were caused by the car accident and to give opinions of the extent of your disability. Once we know what happened we can contact the relevant medical specialists we need and strengthen your case.
We understand that injuries, especially a car accident, can cause a tremendous amount of stress in your life - physically, emotionally and financially. That is why we don’t charge you for our services until after your settlement has been achieved. Contact us online or call us at 1-888-434-0398 for a free consultation so that we can begin taking the necessary steps to successfully represent you in court, or provide advice on opting out of WCB.
For more information on third party claims in other provinces please choose the appropriate link:
Third Party Claims in Ontario