Tort Is Rare In Workers Comp Due To Exclusive Remedy

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Term Of The Day – Tort

A tort is rare in Workers Compensation insurance. The word originates from Old French and Medieval Latin tortum, meaning twisted. In modern English, a tort is a civil wrong that is committed by a tortfeasor, or wrong-doer.

Whether committed intentionally or through negligence, if it results in injury or death to another party, the injured party may be eligible to file a claim. A defendant would then have a legal right to a civil action, in which they may be eligible for monetary compensation.

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Update – In 2018, a Wisconsin Appeals Court ruled that torts do exist in Workers Comp.  This decision altered the term exclusive remedy for Workers Comp.   Exclusive remedy basically means that WC benefits offered to a claimant is their only source of remedy against their employer.  

However, this does not mean that a claimant is barred from pursuing a third party other than the employer for benefits beyond workers compensation.   Then again, the employer usually has the right to join in the third party lawsuit.   

The third party situation often involves an automobile accident the injured employee sustains while driving for this/her employer.  

Most court decisions do not allow a tort between employee and employer. 

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James Moore

Raleigh, NC, United States

About The Author...

James founded a Workers’ Compensation consulting firm, J&L Risk Mgmt Consultants, Inc. in 1996. J&L’s mission is to reduce our clients’ Workers Compensation premiums by using time-tested techniques. J&L’s claims, premium, reserve and Experience Mod reviews have saved employers over $9.8 million in earned premiums over the last three years. J&L has saved numerous companies from bankruptcy proceedings as a result of insurance overpayments.

James has over 27 years of experience in insurance claims, audit, and underwriting, specializing in Workers’ Compensation. He has supervised, and managed the administration of Workers’ Compensation claims, and underwriting in over 45 states. His professional experience includes being the Director of Risk Management for the North Carolina School Boards Association. He created a very successful Workers’ Compensation Injury Rehabilitation Unit for school personnel.

James’s educational background, which centered on computer technology, culminated in earning a Masters of Business Administration (MBA); an Associate in Claims designation (AIC); and an Associate in Risk Management designation (ARM). He is a Chartered Financial Consultant (ChFC) and a licensed financial advisor. The NC Department of Insurance has certified him as an insurance instructor. He also possesses a Bachelors’ Degree in Actuarial Science.

LexisNexis has twice recognized his blog as one of the Top 25 Blogs on Workers’ Compensation. J&L has been listed in AM Best’s Preferred Providers Directory for Insurance Experts – Workers Compensation for over eight years. He recently won the prestigious Baucom Shine Lifetime Achievement Award for his volunteer contributions to the area of risk management and safety. James was recently named as an instructor for the prestigious Insurance Academy.

James is on the Board of Directors and Treasurer of the North Carolina Mid-State Safety Council. He has published two manuals on Workers’ Compensation and three different claims processing manuals. He has also written and has been quoted in numerous articles on reducing Workers’ Compensation costs for public and private employers. James publishes a weekly newsletter with 7,000 readers.

He currently possess press credentials and am invited to various national Workers Compensation conferences as a reporter.

James’s articles or interviews on Workers’ Compensation have appeared in the following publications or websites:

  • Risk and Insurance Management Society (RIMS)
  • Entrepreneur Magazine
  • Bloomberg Business News
  • WorkCompCentral.com
  • Claims Magazine
  • Risk & Insurance Magazine
  • Insurance Journal
  • Workers Compensation.com
  • LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook and other social media sites
  • Various trade publications

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