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Chicago Personal Injury Blog

How Long Do I Have to File a Third-Party Lawsuit After an Accident at Work?

Feb 13 2017, by Jared Staver in Personal Injury, Workers' Compensation

After a work-related accident, you must go through the workers’ compensation system to have your medical bills paid and receive wage benefits. By partnering with an experienced workers’ compensation attorney, you can file a claim with your employer, prove your injuries are from an accident that occurred while you were working, and then receive the benefits you deserve under the law. Workers’ compensation insurance may also pay for vocational rehabilitation or a settlement for permanent disability. Workers’ compensation in Illinois, when navigated by an experienced attorney, can provide significant benefits. However, it is unlikely to cover all of your financial losses or pain and suffering after being injured.

If another individual or company, outside of your employer, was fully or partially to blame for your injuries, then filing a third-party claim can help you recover additional compensation. To learn more, contact a Chicago personal injury lawyer from Staver Law Group as soon as possible. Call us today at .

Third-Party Liability for Work Accidents

Many work-related accidents are insulated from outside parties. Everyone who was involved with your accident was also an employee of the same business. In this situation, your workers’ compensation claim with your employer is the only matter you have to concentrate on. Under the law, you cannot sue your employer, so you must work through the workers’ compensation system to recover.

However, some work accidents include people from outside of the job. It could be an employee from another company or someone entirely unrelated to your work who came onto the premises or work site. If this third party was fully or partially responsible for your work-related injury, then you may be able to hold that individual or his or her employer responsible for expenses beyond your workers’ compensation benefits.

Common third parties in workers’ compensation claims include:

  • Motorists who cause an auto accident while you were driving for work
  • Employees from another company cause the incident within the same workspace, such as a construction site
  • Repair or delivery professionals came into your workplace and created the hazard that led to your injuries
  • The owner of the premises where you were working was responsible for the hazard that led to your injuries

It may also be the situation that you were injured by equipment at your place of work. If a company other than your employer is responsible for your injuries, you may be able to recover compensation for defective or dangerous products that they designed, manufactured, or distributed.

Filing a Third-Party Claim

Illinois law enables you to file a personal injury claim against another person or business – that is not your employer – in addition to receiving benefits through your workers’ compensation claim. This is known as a third-party claim, which may be in the form of an insurance claim or personal injury lawsuit. Through this claim, you and your attorney will need to prove that this other individual or business was negligent, reckless, or intentionally did something wrong. You can seek compensation for any damages, which may include medical costs, lost wages, loss of normal life, disability, disfigurement, and pain and suffering.

Third-party claims can be highly beneficial to your after being hurt while at work. These types of accidents can be devastating, and workers’ compensation cannot make up for everything you lose. If another person or business is responsible for the accident, then you deserve to seek compensation to help move forward with your life.

How Long You Have to File a Third-Party Claim

There are always time limits on the right to file a lawsuit, which is known as the statute of limitations. In Illinois, there is a 2-year statute of limitations on all personal injury claims. This 2-year period begins to run on the accrual date, which is usually the date your injury occurred. The date may also begin to run from the date that you discovered you were injured or ill. Thus, if you didn’t discover your injury or illness until several years after you were exposed to a chemical or other situation, your time period may begin to run on the date of discovery.

Contact a Chicago Personal Injury Lawyer Today

It is important that you do not let your time run out on a personal injury claim related to a work accident. It can be all too easy to concentrate on your workers’ compensation claim and recovering what you can through your employer. However, if you believe someone outside of your job was partly to blame for the accident, contact an experienced personal injury lawyer as soon as possible. An attorney can investigate your situation and advice on you whether a third-party claim is possible.

Call Staver Law Group at to learn more.