With very few exceptions, when somebody is injured on the job in Oregon, the workers' compensation claim is their only remedy. However, if a another person, not the employer or a coworker, causes an injury to somebody in the course and scope of their employment, the injured worker may have a third party claim.
A third party claim is a claim for personal injury against the responsible party. When there is a potential for a third party claim, the insurance company will send a "third-party notice of election" letter to the injured worker. The injured worker must decide whether he or she will pursue the third party claim on their own, or allow the insurance company to pursue the claim on their behalf.
This form has always been confusing. a new rule will take effect on April 1, 2014, requiring that the notice of third party claim were clearly spell out the injured worker's options, and that a rule sure the enclosed along with the letter.
If you have an Oregon workers' compensation claim, and have received a third-party notice of election letter, call us at 503-325-8600 with your questions. We have handled several third-party claims, and can share our knowledge and experience.