What to Do When a Third-Party Caused My Work Accident
When you are injured on the job, you have the right to seek workers’ compensation benefits from your employer. However, when another individual or entity unrelated to your employer causes the accident, you may have a case against them. This is called a third-party claim and it is separate from your workers’ compensation claim.
The qualified Savannah workers’ compensation lawyers at Roden Law are knowledgeable about all aspects of pursuing compensation for a workplace injury. We can carefully review your claim and determine if you may also have a viable case against a negligent third party.
What Is Third-Party Liability?
In order to avoid placing employees in the uncomfortable position of suing their employer after sustaining an injury at work, the workers’ compensation system was established. This is a no-fault insurance system that pays for medical expenses and replaces a portion of an injured worker’s wages. The injured worker does not have to show that the employer was negligent in order to receive these benefits. However, the trade-off is injured employees are usually barred from suing their employer.
In certain situations, another person or entity other than the employer may have liability for a work-related accident. Some common examples of situations when third parties are liable for work injuries include:
- Car accidents – If you were driving a company vehicle or were performing work-related tasks at the time of an accident, you may be able to sue the at-fault driver, as well as file a workers’ compensation claim.
- Defective products – Some work-related accidents occur because a tool or device was defective. A tool may cause electric shock, or brakes may malfunction and cause a car accident. In these situations, injured workers may have a claim against the product manufacturer.
- Construction site accidents – Construction injuries often result in third-party claims because sites often have different people from different companies. If you work for a subcontractor, you may be able to make a claim against the general contractor, who is typically responsible for safety on the jobsite.
- Property owner liability –You may suffer an injury while on someone else’s property. For example, you may have made a sales call and been bitten by a dog while lawfully there. In this type of situation, you may have a claim against the owner of the property.
- Toxic substances – At work, you may be injured by toxic chemicals or other dangerous substances. You may be able to file a claim against the manufacturer of these substances.
How to Prove the Third Party Was Negligent
Workers’ compensation claims are somewhat simpler than third-party liability claims because workers’ compensation is a no-fault system. You simply have to show that the injury occurred while you were at work or performing a work-related duty.
However, in a third-party claim, you must prove that the other party was negligent. This requires you to prove the following:
- The third party owed you a duty of care
- The third party breached this duty of care
- As a result of the breach, you suffered injuries
- Your injuries caused you to suffer monetary damages
Your personal injury lawyer can work with you to gather the evidence necessary to prove these factors.
You can collect workers’ compensation while also pursuing compensation for the full extent of your damages against a third-party by filing a lawsuit against the liable party.
Contact an Experienced Lawyer for Assistance
Third-party liability claims can be complex, so it is useful to have the assistance of a skilled workers’ compensation lawyer who is familiar with these issues. The law firm of Roden Law can evaluate your claim and determine all legal avenues for recovering compensation.
We can discuss your claim during a free evaluation. We charge no upfront fees, so there is no risk to finding out more about your rights. We only get paid if you are fairly compensated.