Third-Party Lawsuits Explained
What happens if you are involved in a workplace injury due to the negligence of another? Now add in another concern: The person causing your injury is not linked to the company and you wonder how you’re going to recover for your injuries. In most cases, you can still file a workers’ compensation claim through the employer’s insurance without any problems, as well as a negligence claim against the third-party. Here’s an example for you: Say that you work for a delivery company and drive a van for work. While in route on the job, a drunk driver comes flying out of nowhere and hits your vehicle, leaving you seriously injured and out of work for quite some time. Not only would you be able to collect workers’ compensation benefits since you were at work when the injury happened, but you could also file a claim against the drunk driver.
It is a good idea to try for workers’ compensation and a third-party lawsuit because you may be able to receive benefits that you wouldn’t have gotten from the other. Take this as an example: In the case used above, what happens if workers’ compensation will only cover medical benefits and wage reimbursement? Then you may have to take up a lawsuit to get the remainder of the benefits you deserve, such as medical bills, out-of-pocket expenses, and even pain and suffering.
Other Third-Party Lawsuit Claims
Of course, there are many more scenarios that are not unheard of in the working industries when it comes to being injured by a third-party. For instance, third-party claims may include that of a defective product. Product liability lawsuits stem from defective products when a defective product causes an injury, even if it happens in the workplace. For instance, what if you are working and one of the pieces of equipment in a construction zone has defective brakes? What if it runs into another worker? This would be cause for a product liability case, but may also be covered under workers’ compensation.
Another example may be one that involves toxic substances. If you are working with lead-based paint or asbestos and end up ill as a result, you may be entitled to benefits. If your employer knew that you were working in these conditions but did nothing to stop it, you could also sue your employer. Many of these cases have ended in gross negligence by an employer when they failed to take action.
Lastly, a third-party lawsuit may stem from a coworkers’ actions or negligence. What happens if a fight breaks out at work even though you didn’t intend for it to happen? What if a coworker is messing around and punches you, leaving your nose broken? Who will cover those injuries? Not only would you have a right to workers’ comp, but you would also have the grounds for a civil lawsuit against the employee who assaulted you at work. If the employer failed to discipline or remove the employee, they could also be held liable in a lawsuit for these actions.
Before you go ahead with a third-party lawsuit, speak to us. We have the experience necessary to handle your case when you have been injured in the workplace and aren’t quite sure where to turn. Call us today at Maggiano, DiGirolamo & Lizzi – we are waiting to hear from you!