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Have you suffered a work injury or a workplace accident? You might be able to file a third-party claim. It can help you get compensation for your medical bills, wages you've lost, and pain and suffering - which aren't covered by workers' compensation, at least not entirely.
Our experienced attorneys will help you understand the process. Here's everything you need to know.
Summary of the Key Findings
- If you’ve been injured at work or involved in a workplace accident, you're entitled to workers' compensation benefits.
- If the incident was a result of third-party's negligence, you're eligible for a third-party lawsuit.
- Connect with a reputable law office before filing a claim to determine the best course of action.
What Does a Third-Party Lawsuit Mean?
A third-party lawsuit is a type of personal injury claim. It can be filed by an employee who suffered a work-related injury or was involved in an accident while on duty.
The claim is filed against a third party—a negligent entity or person that isn't an employer or employee's co-worker. We'll list some examples of third parties below.
For now, let's go through the main differences between a third-party and a workers' compensation claim:
- Different defendants. Workers' comp claims can be filed only against an employer or co-workers. Third-party claims can only be filed against other entities or persons.
- Eligibility. As a worker, you're always eligible to get workers' compensation if you've been injured on the job. However, to win a third-party lawsuit, you'll need to prove that your injury is a direct result of third-party's actions or negligence.
- Reimbursements. Workers' comp covers only a percentage of lost wages and medical bills. A third-party lawsuit can reimburse your total wages and medical expenses and even provide compensation for pain and suffering.
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Examples of Third Parties
Injured workers can file third-party liability claims against entities or persons such as:
- Manufacturers of defective products
- Maintenance firms
- Security companies
- General contractor
- Other contractors on a construction site
- Property owner
Note that you won't be filing a claim against a third party but rather their insurance company.
Common Cases In Which Victims Are Reimbursed
Here are a few typical cases in which injured employees have a good chance of winning:
- Negligence on a construction site
- A motor vehicle accident
- A defective product
- A workplace attack
However, determining which entity or person should be held accountable for the injuries suffered by a plaintiff isn't always easy. It may require more thorough research.
For that reason, you should collect as much evidence as you can.
Hold onto your medical records. Find photographs or video footage that could help you prove your claims. And be prepared to be interviewed by suitable experts.
Should You File a Third-Party Lawsuit?
An employee can win a third-party lawsuit only if his injury results from a third party's negligence.
So, the first thing you want to figure out is who was at fault—the employer or another entity or person?
For example, your employer might have been aware that a machine that caused your injuries was faulty.
If he didn't take appropriate action, the incident is his fault.
In that case, a third party can't be held responsible for work injuries.
Consider other factors, too:
- How much compensation you'd be able to recover
- The price and time you'll spend on your lawsuit
- Whether and how much you'll have to pay back to workers' comp
So, before you go ahead and file a personal injury claim, seek out legal advice from an experienced lawyer.
How Can Third-Party Lawsuits Help the Victim?
Third-party lawsuits can help the victim recover the total amount of lost wages and medical expenses and receive punitive damages for pain, suffering, and mental anguish.
Connect With a Law Firm You Can Trust
We aim to create a transparent and fair attorney-client relationship you can rely on.
Contact S&C law firm today to determine whether this type of lawsuit is right for you and how our experienced attorneys can help.