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Idaho Personal Injury / Worker’s Compensation Lawyer

In Idaho, personal injury and worker’s compensation claims often intersect. The Idaho injury attorneys at Racine Olson understand the rules and law that govern both areas of law and can maximize your claim regardless of whether you are in Boise, Idaho Falls, Twin Falls, Pocatello, or elsewhere in our great state. Let us explain how these claims often occur together.

Personal Injuries While Working

Personal injuries can give rise to both worker’s compensation claims and negligence or tort claims. For instance, let’s assume that a worker is asked by his or her employer to go to the store and pick up supplies. While driving to the store, the worker is struck by a driver at an intersection. The employee was clearly doing work and so would have a worker’s compensation claim. However, he or she would also have a negligence claim against the person who hit him or her in the intersection.

Another example might be where an independent contractor is working at a factory or plant and injures an employee who works at the factory. The employee has a worker’s compensation claim against his or her own employer (the factory or plant) and also a claim against the independent contractor who was working at the facility.

Accidents like this happen all the time to Idahoans all around the State. It is important to have an attorney who understands the nuances of both worker’s compensation and Idaho tort law. The attorneys at Racine Olson have specialists that can help in both areas.

Subrogation

One of the legal theories that is so important when you have one of these complex claims is subrogation. An experienced Idaho Worker’s Compensation lawyer understands that where an employee is injured by a third party, such as an independent contractor, there is a possibility of recovery against that party. In those instances, the injured employee must prove that the person who hurt them had a duty, breached that duty, and the breach caused them to suffer injuries. Sterling v. Bloom, 111Idaho 211 723 P.2d 755 (1986). It doesn’t matter where you live in Idaho, these requirements are the same. All people have a duty to act in such a way as to avoid injuring others. If they fail to do that, then they can be held liable for their acts.

Let’s say that an independent contractor comes onto your employer’s property and does some work. However, in the process one of your employer’s employees is injured. If the independent contractor is negligent then it has the responsibility to pay for the damages caused to the injured person.

During the same time, the employer may be paying worker compensation benefits in the form of medical and wage loss benefits. You may be wondering whether the independent contractor has to pay the employer back for the benefits paid on the employee’s behalf. Well, like everything in law, that depends. And that is why you need an Idaho Worker’s Compensation and personal injury attorney like the ones at Racine Olson. We know the answer to this question. In addition, we know how to get the best recovery from the third party.

There are times that the employer does get paid back for the benefits that have been paid on behalf of the employee. This might arise where an employee is driving on the job and is hit by an unrelated third party driver on the highway. However, in other cases where the employer has been negligent and helped to cause the injury in any way, then the subrogation interest is not reimbursed. Maravilla V. Simplot, 161 Idaho 455, 387 P.3d 123 (2016).

These are complicated issues and you need an attorney that is able to handle the worker’s compensation claim and the negligence lawsuit. Racine Olson has that ability. Some people worry that they aren’t right next door to our offices in Pocatello, Idaho Falls, or Boise. This shouldn’t worry you. It doesn’t matter if you are in Coeur d’Alene, Salmon, Boise, Twin Falls, Pocatello, or Idaho Falls, we can work it out and have done so many times before.

We want what is best for you in these challenging claims. We can help take care of the problem whether you see it as worker’s compensation or personal injury or both. Problem solved.

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