Workers’ Compensation And Third Party Claims
Workers’ compensation is an agreement that employees enter into with their employer. Workers’ compensation typically states that if an employee is injured while on the job, their medical bills and lost wages will be compensated for. However, they are not able to sue their employer for additional damages. But what happens if a workplace injury occurs and it was caused by the negligence of a third party?
Proving Third Party Negligence
If a third party’s negligence caused an accident, the injured employee might be able to collect damages against them. Suing a third party often means recovering damages for noneconomic damages and punitive damages. In proving that a third party has been negligent, the plaintiff is required to prove four things:
- Breach of Duty
In certain cases, plaintiffs may be able to instead raise a strict liability claim by proving that there was a defective product.
An Example Of Third Party Negligence
One of the classic examples of a third-party claim can be seen with a drunk driving accident. Imagine a construction worker is working a job site on the side of a highway, and a drunk truck driver crashes into him.
The injured construction worker is able to collect workers’ compensation benefits from his employer. However, the injured worker is also able to sue the third party that caused the accident. Both the truck driver and the trucking company could be sued. The trucking company could be sued for improper training, or for not providing safeguards against drunk driving accidents.
Workers’ compensation cases vary, so the employee may not receive enough compensation to cover his entire medical bill. The construction worker would likely sue to collect for his existing medical expenses. He could seek to recover pain and suffering damages, which are not as objective a monetary figure. If the employee misses an extended time at work, faces an extensive rehabilitation process, or never returns to work out of fear of another accident occurring, there is a greater chance of recovering compensation for pain and suffering.
Have You Been Injured In A Workplace Accident?
If you’ve been injured in a workplace accident, contact a trusted accident lawyer. Accident lawyers have years of experience handling situations involving workers’ compensation cases. They’ll review your case, and ensure you’re receiving every bit of compensation you’re entitled to.
Odds are, if there is a workers’ compensation case, there is a good chance that a third party could be at fault. Even something that seems as innocent as sitting in a chair at a job site, and that chair then breaking, could actually be caused by a third party’s negligence. In this case, the manufacturer of the chair could be at fault.
If you’ve been injured, you shouldn’t merely settle for workers’ compensation when you’ve lost so much more. Your pain, suffering, and other punitive damages should be compensated for. It’s been a traumatic experience for you, and it should be treated as such. The Get Me Justice attorneys have settled over 10,000 accident and personal injury cases, recovering millions for their client each year.