It may sound simple but filing for a workers compensation lawsuit is very different from any personal injury lawsuit. That’s because workers’ compensation laws require most companies to have workers’ compensation insurance in order to both compensate injured workers while holding the employer at no-fault. That means if you’re injured at work, you won’t be able to file for a personal injury lawsuit because of the existence of workers’ compensation insurance coverage. There are exceptions, such as how an employer can be sued if they intentionally cause you harm or perform any action in malicious conduct that leads to your injury.
But what if your injury was caused by the negligence of a third-party, a company or individual whose careless actions led to your injury at work? This is where workers compensation and personal injury may start to meet.
Third-Party Liability for Work Injury
While your employer may be mostly shielded from any personal injury lawsuits, there may be situations where a third-party can be held legally responsible for your injury while in the workplace. This is also called Third-Party Liability. In some of these situations, you may be able to claim both workers’ compensation as well as third-party liability. Here are some examples of how third-party liability can come into play:
Depending on your job, you may need to go onto the property of another. Whether you’re a repairman or you’re performing a sales presentation, if you go onto another property and are injured because of the property owner’s negligence—such as getting attacked by a homeowner’s dog—you may be able to file a lawsuit.
Construction Site Accidents
If you’re working on a construction site that’s been built by another company or contractor and experience an injury, you may be able to file a third-party claim for your injury. One example of this could be doing some work on a construction site area and a walkway collapses, causing you to fall two stories and suffer a spinal injury and broken bones. This can be a case where the person or organization responsible for building that faulty walkway could be held liable.
From faulty tools to vehicle parts, when a product made by another company becomes defective and leads to injury, you may be able to hold the manufacturer liable for their faulty product. An example of this could be the brakes of a forklift being faulty, causing the vehicle to careen into something and resulting in you suffering injury.
Toxic Chemicals and Substances
From chemicals to other kinds of toxic and harmful substances, injury by toxic materials can potentially hold their manufacturer liable.
Whether you’re driving the company van or just doing your work when a careless driver causes you injury, chances are you may be able to hold that driver at-fault. You’ll likely also be able to file for workers’ compensation as well. A good example of this could be using your company’s van to reach a location for an assignment, but a distracted driver runs a red light and collides with you at an intersection.
Proving the Third-Party’s Negligence
Even though this may be a work-related kind of injury, third-party liability is treated much like a personal injury case—negligence is what needs to be proven to make the third-party responsible for your injuries. Proving that negligence follows the same steps as a regular personal injury case:
- Proving the third-party’s Duty
- Proving the third-party’s Breach of Duty
- Proving that your injuries were caused by the third-party’s Breach of Duty
- Proving that those injuries resulted in damages that need to be compensated
As such, a personal injury lawyer will be required for this part of your case and for getting your compensation regarding the damages caused by the third-party. But your workers’ compensation must still be worked out with your workers’ compensation lawyer and your employer’s workers’ compensation insurance provider if you wish to see if there is more to be gotten from that side.
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Whether you’ve been affected also by a third-party in your workplace injuries, be sure to know your rights and available options regarding your workers compensation with the help of workers compensation lawyers. So long as your company is within the parameters of your state’s workers’ compensation laws, you deserve to get compensation for your hard work and for the pain you’ve experienced on the job. Make finding the right lawyer easy with the help of TopResearched and our rigorously vetted and verified lists of top experts in your area!