What is a Third-Party Work Injury Claim?
Workers' Compensation - November 6, 2020
Sustaining an on the job injury can be detrimental for a victim. Workplace injuries can lead to significant pain and suffering for a victim as well as tremendous expenses such as lost wages, rehabilitation costs, and out-of-pocket household losses. Usually, injured workers are only able to recover compensation afforded to them through the workers’ comp system. However, if a third party aside from their employer or coworkers was responsible for their injury, it may be possible to file a third-party personal injury lawsuit in order to recover additional compensation.
What if Your Injury Was Caused by a Third-Party?
If your work injury was caused by a third party in the workplace, you may be able to file a personal injury lawsuit outside of the workers’ compensation system to recover the compensation you are entitled to. To be clear, injured workers typically cannot file lawsuits against their employer or coworkers, even if they are directly responsible for causing the injury. The workers’ compensation system is considered “no-fault,” and injured workers typically must pursue their claims within the system.
However, third parties cause workplace injuries all the time. These parties can include the following:
- Independent contractors or subcontractors at a job site
- Companies or manufacturers of defective products
- Property owners or operators who have control over the job site
- Any other party that is not employed by the same company as the injured worker
- Drivers of vehicles
How to Prove the Third-Party’s Liability?
Third-party lawsuits in the aftermath of sustaining your work injury are going to be more complicated than typical workers’ compensation claims. That is because these claims are not “no-fault,” and it will be necessary to provide evidence of the other party’s negligence. In order for a third-party work injury lawsuit to proceed, the injury victim and their attorney will need to prove:
- That their injury involved a work-related accident
- The third-party owed them a duty of care
- The third-party breached this duty of care
- The breach of duty caused the victim’s injuries
- The injury victim sustained some sort of monetary loss
In order to prove negligence in these cases, there will likely need to be extensive investigations into what happened. This could include gathering any available photo or video surveillance, statements from eyewitnesses to the incident, accident reports, medical records, and more.
Filing a Third-Party Liability Work-Injury Claim
If you or somebody you care about has sustained an injury on-the-job that was caused by a third party, you need to speak to an attorney as soon as possible. A skilled Chicago workers compensation lawyer will be able to help you with both your workers’ compensation claim (should one be necessary), as well as the personal injury lawsuit you will need to file in court against the third party. Third-party injury lawsuits will be more complicated than a workers’ compensation claim because these are not considered “no-fault” claims. You will have to prove that the other party owed you a duty of care, was negligent in their duties, and caused your injuries. An attorney will understand the timeframes involved in these cases and how to proceed appropriately.