OWCP 3rd Party Claims
Box 30 of the CA-1 form asks if your injury was caused by a 3rd party. The most common 3rd party accident is a car wreck. Some sources say letter carriers at the US Post Office get into 200+ car wrecks every day nationwide. Other federal employees who drive as part of their jobs suffer from these OWCP auto injuries as well.
3rd party injuries, such as car wrecks, are OWCP injuries that should be covered by federal workers compensation. Far too many people get into on-the-job car wrecks and treat the accident like a standard personal injury (PI) case. They call a PI lawyer and pursue / sue the other driver’s car insurance. That is the first and biggest mistake a federal employee can make when they get into a federal employment car accident.
Never call a personal injury lawyer when you’re injured in a car wreck as a federal employee. PI lawyers usually don’t understand the rules of OWCP, and they will treat your claim like any other PI claim. Your OWCP injury will likely never be approved. You’ll eventually get a settlement from the 3rd party, but the doctor and lawyer are going to get a majority of any settlement you may be entitled to. That means very little of the money will go in your pocket, but the worst part is you will not be entitled to lifetime medical benefits, reimbursement for time off work and money spent out of your own pocket, or a schedule award. Later, if your condition comes back or worsens, you’ll have no where to turn except for your own personal health insurance, which means copays and deductibles paid out of your pocket.
Instead, the correct course of action is to call a federal OWCP lawyer to handle the 3rd party claim and ensure you get all of your OWCP injury benefits at the same time. 5 USC 8131 says that a federal employee who is injured in the course of duty, by a 3rd party may be required to pursue the 3rd party. Your agency will likely send you a letter informing you of this responsibility and this can be very beneficial to you.
You are going to be entitled to at least 20% of any settlement, after legal fees. At the same time, all of your doctors bills will be covered 100%. When your OWCP injury claim is approved, you will never be responsible for paying those bills yourself. You’ll also be entitled to reimbursement for time off and later on, you may even qualify for a schedule award, which is basically more money in your pocket.
If you’re injured in a 3rd party OWCP auto accident, here are the steps you must take to have a successful OWCP experience:
- Call 911 if your injury is severe or an emergency.
- Get a police report. Do not leave the scene of the accident, even if the other party does.
- Call a lawyer that handles Federal OWCP 3rd Party Injury Claims. Do not call a local PI lawyer.
- Call your supervisor immediately to report your accident.
- Go immediately to your supervisor and request to file an OWCP injury claim by filling out a form CA-1 with your supervisor.
- Get complete copies of all pages of the CA-1, including the Receipt of Notice.
- Get a form CA-16 from your supervisor that pays all of your medical bills for the first 60 days after the injury.
- Request a form CA-17 Duty Status Report from your supervisor to take to your doctor in case you need work restrictions or need to be taken off of work temporarily.
- Contact an OWCP injury doctor in your area and make an appointment to go get a narrative written that will cause your OWCP injury claim to be approved.
- Follow all of your OWCP doctor’s recommendations and treatment plan so you can get better and back to work full duty as soon as medically possible.
Following these 10 rules for 3rd Party OWCP Injuries, especially federal employment car accidents, will make all the difference in the outcome of your OWCP injury claim.
If you are one of the 200+ people who are in a federal car wreck every day in this country, and you need expert help with your OWCP injury claim, then check the Locations tab on this site to find a doctor near you. The combination of a good federal lawyer and a trained OWCP injury doctor can make all the difference.