Steps to Take After a Work Injury Caused by a Third Party | Staver
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Steps to Take After a Work Injury Caused by a Third Party

Written by Jared Staver

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Jared Staver is a Personal Injury Lawyer based in Chicago, Illinois and has been practicing law for over 20 years.

Jared Staver

CATEGORY: Work Injury, Workers' Compensation

Work injuries can be scary and confusing, especially when someone other than your employer is responsible. But there were 2.2 million reported nonfatal accidents in the US, according to the latest numbers. These third-party liability situations can leave you out of work with bills piling up.

But knowing the right steps to take after such an injury can make a huge difference in getting the help and compensation you deserve. Learn more about how a Chicago work injury lawyer can improve your chances at getting the money you’re owed after an accident.

Understanding and Identifying Third-Party Liability Claims in Chicago

A third-party liability claim happens when someone who isn’t your employer is responsible for an injury at work. This could be a subcontractor, a property owner, a manufacturer, or even a driver if you’re in a work-related car accident.

Unlike workers’ compensation, which doesn’t require you to prove fault, a third-party claim means you need to show that someone else was negligent, or careless.

To figure out if a third party is involved, you need to look at the details of your accident.

Ask questions like:

  • Was there anyone else involved who doesn’t work for my company?
  • Was there faulty equipment or machinery from another company?
  • Did the injury happen on someone else’s property?

Common scenarios where third-party liability comes up include construction site accidents with multiple contractors, car accidents while on the job, or using defective equipment at work.

What Should I Do Immediately After the Injury?

The aftermath of a work injury can complex and confusing. There are crucial steps to remember to help secure a settlement.

Get Medical Attention

Your health is the most important thing. See a doctor right away, even if you think you’re not badly hurt. Some injuries don’t show up immediately. Getting medical care quickly also helps document your injuries, which is important for your claim.

Report the Injury to Your Employer:

Tell your employer about the injury as soon as possible. This is crucial for your workers’ compensation claim. Be sure to follow your company’s reporting rules. Accurate and timely reporting can help avoid problems later.

Document the Incident

After ensuring your health and reporting the injury, the next step is to gather evidence about the incident. This helps prove your claim.

  • Gather Evidence: If you can, take photos or videos of the accident scene, your injuries, and any equipment involved. Get contact information from any witnesses. Their statements can be very helpful.
  • Preserve Physical Evidence: If there was faulty equipment or unsafe conditions, try to keep them as they were. Don’t repair or throw away anything before talking to your lawyer.
  • Keep Detailed Records: Save all medical records, accident reports, and any communication with your employer and insurance companies. Write down everything you remember about the accident as soon as you can.

How to File a Third-Party Liability Claim

Filing a third-party claim may seem like a complicated matter, but following these steps can make the process manageable.

Consult with a Personal Injury Lawyer

Third-party claims can be complex. A lawyer can help gather evidence, build your case, and ensure you get the compensation you deserve. They can also explain any legal terms or processes you don’t understand.

Filing the Claim

Your lawyer will help you start the claim. This involves identifying the third party, proving their negligence, and showing how their actions caused your injury. Unlike workers’ compensation, you need to show that the third party was at fault.

Negotiating a Settlement

Your lawyer will negotiate with the third party’s insurance company. They will fight for a fair settlement that covers all your damages, including medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering. If the insurance company offers a low amount, your lawyer can push for more or take the case to court.

Legal Considerations and Challenges in Third-Party Claims

There are some important legal points to keep in mind:

  • Statute of Limitations: In Illinois, you generally have two years from the date of the accident to file a third-party claim. Missing this deadline can mean losing your right to compensation.
  • Proving Negligence: You must show that the third party had a duty to keep you safe, they failed in this duty, and this failure caused your injury. This can be challenging, which is why having a lawyer is so important.
  • Thorough Investigation: A solid case needs good evidence. Your lawyer will help gather all necessary documents, witness statements, and expert opinions to support your claim.

Why Should I File a Third-Party Claim?

Workers’ compensation is helpful, but it might not cover everything. A third-party claim can provide additional compensation for things like:

  • Medical Expenses: Covering all your treatment costs.
  • Lost Income: Reimbursing wages lost due to the injury.
  • Pain and Suffering: Compensating for the physical and emotional distress caused by the accident.
  • Long-Term Impact: Addressing reduced earning potential if your injury affects your ability to work in the future.

Filing a third-party claim can help ensure you are fully compensated and can focus on your recovery without financial stress.

Call a Chicago Work Injury Lawyer Now

Getting hurt at work is tough, but taking the right steps can make a big difference in your recovery and compensation. Consulting with a qualified work injury lawyer from Chicago is a critical step in the right direction towards getting the money you’re owed.

The Staver team understands how devastating a work injury can be, and we’re ready to hear your story to get you back on track. We know that being unable to work because of an injury can be stressful. That’s why we advocate for you and are prepared to investigate your claim to identify all liable parties. We can help you hold them accountable and we will fight for your maximum compensation.

Call (312) 236-2900 or fill out our online form to schedule your free consultation. You won’t owe anything unless we win a settlement.

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(312) 236-2900
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