Third-Party Claims

Rutter Mills Law Firm

Third-Party Claims

Car Accident Info

If you are injured on the job in Virginia, a workers’ compensation claim can provide you with much-needed financial resources no matter who is to blame. One trade-off is that you cannot file a lawsuit against your employer for the accident. But if the injury was caused by the negligence of a non-employer, filing a claim directly against that party can help you recover additional damages where the workers’ compensation payments fall short.

Workers’ comp is intended to provide quicker and less contentious payment for immediate losses like income and medical bills, but it does not fully reimburse injured employees. When a lawsuit against a third party is warranted, it can fill the gap, allowing the employee to recover for the losses that were not fully covered by the employer. At Rutter Mills, our personal injury lawyers are here to help you fight for the full compensation you deserve by holding negligent third parties accountable.

Losses That Third-Party Claims can Pay

When your workplace accident was caused by the negligence of a third party, the third party may be liable for:

  • Lost wages and reduced earning capacity
  • Medical expenses not paid by insurance or workers’ compensation
  • Pain and suffering
  • The expected cost of future medical treatment
  • Cost of rehabilitation
  • Non-economic losses like the loss of the care and companionship of a spouse

The third party claims lawyers at Rutter Mills take a careful look at your situation to assess your full loss, who was responsible, and how to make them pay.

Who May be Liable in a Third-Party Claim

When it comes to fault for a workplace injury, the employer is the most obvious party to look to because that is who usually controls the work environment. However, others may be liable if they owed a duty to keep others safe, breached that duty, and the breach caused the injury. Liable parties can include:

  • Landlord
  • Contractors
  • Subcontractors
  • Owner of the construction site or another property
  • Companies that enter the property to perform maintenance or other services
  • Suppliers who enter the premises
  • Manufacturer or designer of a defective product or equipment
  • The driver of a vehicle when the injury was caused by an on-the-job auto accident

At Rutter Mills, our firm investigates every aspect of your injury to understand where third parties may have been involved. When our experience tells us you would benefit to step outside the workers’ compensation system to file a third party lawsuit, we will fight to hold the at-fault party liable.

Effect of Third-Party Claims on Workers’ Compensation Cases

Navigating the Workers’ Compensation process can be complicated. A third-party claim can add a layer of complexity to the process, but when you have the guidance of personal injury law experts, you can trust that everything is being done to make sure you are fully compensated.

If you are eligible for workers’ compensation, you can keep receiving it if you pursue a third party claim and if you prevail. You cannot, however, recover the same losses twice.

If workers’ compensation pays certain medical bills or lost wages and you recover those same amounts from a lawsuit, you will need to repay the workers’ compensation insurer for those amounts. However, while you cannot receive double compensation, you are entitled to full compensation. Even if you need to repay some portion of the workers’ compensation, you will keep anything that was not covered, like pain and suffering and uncompensated wages.

The experienced workers’ compensation lawyers at Rutter Mills take the full picture into account. We work with opposing parties, insurers, and medical providers to reduce the amounts you will owe after pursuing a claim so that you can obtain the full benefit of the claim.

How a Third-Party Claims Lawyer can Help Your Case

The first thing you need to do is investigate and determine whether you have a strong case to make against a third party. The next is to file a lawsuit and participate in the litigation process. This also means complying with the statute of limitations and court rules and filing in a court that has jurisdiction. You need to be prepared to enter a settlement or try the case, depending on how the litigation goes. Having an experienced lawyer to guide you through every step of this complex process is key to achieving the best possible outcome.

At Rutter Mills, we understand that every case is unique. Our team is here to sit down with you and learn what makes your situation special. We have taken a personalized approach to workplace injury litigation for more than 50 years.

If you have suffered an injury on the job, call today to schedule a free consultation. Our personal injury lawyers have offices in Norfolk and Newport News.

Additional third-party claims resources:

  1. Virginia Workers’ Compensation Commission, Quick Reference Guide,
  2. Virginia State Law, § 65.2-309. Lien against settlement proceeds or verdict in third party suit; subrogation of employer to employee’s rights against third parties; evidence; recovery; compromise,

Contact a Rutter Mills attorney to speak about your case today.

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Dave suffered serious injuries in a car accident. The defendant’s insurance company tried to offer him a low amount so Dave called Rutter Mills. We took over dealing with the insurance and got Dave the money he needed to get back on his feet.

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I knew I needed Rutter Mills.

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On his way home from work at the shipyard, Dan was involved in an accident. He tried to file a claim on his own, but the insurance company wouldn’t give him the money he needed to put his life back on track. Dan knew he needed to call Rutter Mills.

They actually won my case 3 times!

Larena's Win

After her car accident, Larena asked her father, a local stevedore, for his advice on who to call. He recommended Rutter Mills. Her team of car accident experts at Rutter Mills fought back when the insurance companies tried to deny her the money she needed to recuperate from her injuries. We took her case to trial – and won. When the insurance company filed their appeals, we beat them again – two more times! Larena got the money she needed and the justice she deserved.

We’re going to immediately call Rutter Mills. That’s the people I trust with my baby girl.

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After a car accident, Jamaree’s first call was to her mom. She was shaken up and scared. Mom told her “We’re calling Rutter Mills. Her next was to Rutter Mills. Her Rutter Mills car accident team helped her get compensation “above & beyond” what she was expecting.

They lifted allot of stress off my shoulders. I recommend them to anybody because they WILL fight for you.

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Referrals From Friends and Family

After John was seriously injured in a motorcycle accident, he turned to the person he trusts most for a recommendation. His wife, a paralegal of 30 years, told him to call Rutter Mills on the advice of the lawyer she worked for.

They really care for you as a person. Words cannot describe what Rutter Mills did for me and for my case.

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When the insurance company tried to get Carol to sign paperwork after her car accident, she knew she needed a lawyer. Carol knew she needed Rutter Mills.

When I called Rutter Mills, I knew it was the right fit. They’re so interested in helping you get justice.

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Taryn was in a car accident while she was pregnant. She knew she needed someone in her corner to protect her rights and her family’s future.

There’s attorneys, then there’s Rutter Mills.

We're Here When The Unexpected Happens


A devasting accident changed Levon’s life forever. The physical and emotional toll left him scared and in pain. When the insurance company for the defendant contacted the family, they made an offer that did not even cover the cost of the medication, much less doctors’ bills, and physical therapy. They knew they needed to talk to a serious lawyer. Rutter Mills took care of the negotiation so Levon could focus on healing.

When you’ve got a serious injury, you need a serious lawyer. That’s why we chose Rutter Mills.

Motorcycle Accidents Change Everything

When Ed was injured in a motorcycle crash, he knew he needed a serious lawyer to protect his rights. The insurance companies were fighting him every step of the way. Rutter Mills helped prove Ed’s case and get him the money he needed to get on the road to recovery.

With the seriousness of the accident, I knew that we needed a serious lawyer. I needed Rutter Mills.

Carol & Levon's Story

They knew they needed a serious lawyer when Carol and her son were seriously injured. After the other party’s insurance company tried to get her to settle for less than she needed, Carol called Rutter Mills for help. We took on the insurance company so she could focus on healing.

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