When an employee is injured within the scope of employment, has the right, but not the obligation, to make a worker's compensation claim against the employer. Worker's compensation claims allow an injured worker to have their medical bills related to the workplace injury, covered by the employer. In addition, the employee is entitled to be reimbursed for any lost wages reasonably related to the injury. However, a worker's compensation claim does not entitle the injured party to compensation for pain and suffering, as a liability claim does.
If a party is injured within the scope of employment by a third party (anyone other than the employer or a fellow employee), the worker may make both a worker's compensation claim and a liability claim against the negligent third party. However, if the third party liability claim is successful, the worker's compensation carrier must be reimbursed for any payments made related to the claim, out of the recovery. A seasoned personal injury liability lawyer, like Roger Gelb, is often successful in getting the worker's compensation lien reduced, so as to allow his client to net more money from the liability claim.