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Suing a Third-Party for a Workplace Injury

July 18, 2017

Suing third party for workers' compensation injury

In addition to filing a workers’ compensation claim, is it possible to sue a third-party for a work-related injury? The answer is yes. At Prior, Criner & Edwards Attorneys, we look at all cases from every angle to help maximize workers’ benefits and compensation. That includes looking for a responsible third-party to bring a law suit against, especially for issues workers’ compensation doesn’t cover, such as pain and suffering.

Typically, you cannot sue your employer for a workplace injury, due to your agreement to receive workers’ compensation benefits and giving up your rights to sue your employer for pain and suffering. This, however, doesn’t mean you’re prohibited from suing someone else if they are responsible for your injuries. The most common third-party workers’ compensation law suits we see come from car accidents, slips and falls, and other injuries that occur on someone else’s property.

Work-related Automobile Accidents

Getting into a car accident while driving to work is the most common example of a third-party claim coming from a workers’ compensation action. There are many occupations that include driving as part of the job, such as truck and delivery drivers, sales employees that make on-site visits, construction drivers that haul materials and machinery, health workers, and even lawyers that drive to and from court. If you find yourself in a situation where you’re driving for work, get into an accident, and it’s not your fault, you may have the opportunity to file a third-party lawsuit against the other driver. Not only will you collect workers’ compensation, but you may also win claims not covered by workers’ comp, such as pain and suffering, future lost wages, and damages to your vehicle.

Slips and Falls

Does your job require you to work on someone else’s property? When injuries occur in this situation and are due to dangerous conditions, you may be able to sue the building owner or property manager in addition to collecting workers’ compensation. Injuries that might occur in these circumstances include trips from uneven flooring or dangerously placed items, falls down broken stairways, and slips and falls from icy conditions. And if your injury is caused by a major defect in a property not owned or managed by your employer, you can absolutely bring a third-party lawsuit for things workers’ compensation doesn’t pay out.

What About Contractors?

Injuries occurring on construction sites can present some unique issues. If you’re injured on site while working for a subcontractor, you have the opportunity to bring a lawsuit against the general contractor. It’s the responsibility of the general contractor to maintain a safe environment for everyone working on the site, including subcontractors. If an injury should occur from a safety violation, you may be able to present a pain and suffering lawsuit to the third-party.

When it comes to third-party lawsuits, it’s important to look at each case from every angle to ensure all injured employees gets what they deserve. Our workers’ compensation lawyers want to ensure you’re guided through the process smoothly and always feel confident about the next steps in your case. If you’ve been involved in a third-party workplace accident, we want to know. Contact us today to schedule a consultation.