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What to do if your employee has a COID claim against a third party?

by , 26 May 2015
When it comes to compensation, there are certain rules you need to know to ensure no mistakes are made when it comes to paying compensation, admitting your fault or following the right procedure.

But what if your employee is injured or contracts a disease but a third party (somebody other than your company) is liable.

In this case, you have the right to take the following actions (Section 36.1 of COIDA):

COID and third party claims: What you need to know

Example: While working on your client's premises, Jack slips on the stairs and breaks his leg.

In this case, there are three things that can take place:

•  You can claim compensation for Jack and sue your client for damages; or
•  Jack can sue the client in civil court for damages; or
•  The Director General can sue your client to recover the compensation paid for the injury/illness.

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The court that awards recovery of damages will consider the compensation already paid out to the employee ( Section 36.2 ofCOIDA). The amount for the claim for damages won't be more than the amount of damages your employee would've received (Section 36.3 of COIDA).

If the Commissioner pays R500 compensation to your employee, the courts will probably only award R500 for damages. The courts seldom award more than what the Commissioner would've paid.

Compensation under these circumstances includes the cost of medical assistance already incurred and any amount paid as a pension, e.g. disability pay-out if your employee can no longer work. (The value is decided by the Director General.) The pension may be a lump sum or periodic payments (Section 36.4 of COIDA).

Notice that you're not allowed to threaten your employee in any way that could force or influence him to do something that would deprive him of his right to benefits (Section 37 of COIDA).

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