Many people suffer personal injury following an accident at work as a result of the fault or negligence of an employer or someone else. At MDW Law in Halifax and Bedford, our experienced personal injury lawyers can help you determine whether you meet the criteria to pursue a valid personal injury claim arising from a workplace injury.
Many workers in Nova Scotia receive coverage under the Workers’ Compensation Board (WCB). As such, they are entitled to compensation available under the WCB system for injuries sustained in a workplace accident. This compensation includes coverage for income loss, necessary medical treatment and other things.
However, if the workplace accident was caused by a third party (such as a motor vehicle driver), workers have the option of deciding within 180 days of the injury whether they will continue to receive compensation from the WCB or pursue a personal injury claim against the third party. If you decide to pursue a personal injury claim against the third party (i.e. motor vehicle driver) then WCB staff will send you a Right of Action against a Third Party Election Form which must be completed and returned to the WCB within 180 days of your accident.
If you chose to remain in the WCB system, then the WCB can sue the other driver in order to recover the costs of your workplace injury. If you choose this option, you are entitled to the same benefits and services as those available to other injured workers during the WCB’s legal action.
Generally speaking, you cannot sue any WCB employer or worker for injuries arising from any workplace accident, unless you were injured as a result of an accident involving a motor vehicle. If you were injured as a result of a motor vehicle accident while at work, then you CAN pursue a claim for damages against the other driver, even if the driver was an employer or employee covered by WCB, provided the at fault driver was not YOUR employer or a co-worker.
You are not entitled to pursue a claim under the WCB and pursue a personal injury claim against the other driver in a civil action at the same time. It is important to note that you have 180 days from the date of the accident to decide whether you want to sue the third party driver yourself, or if you will remain in the WCB system. WCB will pay you benefits in that 180-day window unless and until you indicate you are going to pursue a claim yourself against the third party driver.
If you’ve had a workplace injury and need legal assistance, please contact us at our Halifax office to find out how we can help you.