Work Injuries

Third Party Liability Claims

If you were hurt at work, but it wasn’t a coworker’s or your employer’s fault, give us a call. You might be entitled to more compensation in addition to your workers’ compensation benefits. When a person or business that’s separate from your employer caused your workplace accident and injuries, then you can file a lawsuit against them. You can demand personal injury damages for your injuries. But you’ll need the help of an experienced work injury lawyer to get the compensation you deserve. Call Staver Accident Injury Lawyers, P.C. at (312) 236-2900, or use our online form to schedule a free consultation.

Third-Party Liability After Work Accidents

Third-party liability comes up after a workplace accident when a person or business from outside of your employer was at fault. You and your employer make up the first two parties in your claim. A third party could be a random individual, subcontractor, property owner, manufacturer, or another business.

For example, say you were delivering a package for work, and you had to cross the street. A driver makes a right turn on red without checking the crosswalk and strikes you. You were injured while working, so you’re going to pursue workers’ compensation benefits through your employer. But your employer didn’t cause the accident. The negligent driver did. This negligent driver is the third party and is liable for your injuries.

Investigate Fault in Your Workplace Accident

Workers’ compensation is a no-fault system. You don’t have to prove your employer did anything wrong to be eligible for benefits. Because of this, you might not think to investigate who was responsible for the workplace accident. We recommend you look into the incident further. It’s best to partner with an experienced lawyer in Illinois who can gather evidence and determine who was at fault. It’s through an independent investigation that you might identify a third party.

Examples of Third-Party Claims After Work Accidents

  • Car & Truck Accidents: You might be hurt in a crash caused by a negligent driver while you’re working.
  • Construction Site Accidents: Construction sites often have workers from multiple businesses at the same time. You could be hurt by another business’s negligence at the site.
  • Slip and Fall Accidents: The property owner might be liable if you fall because of a hidden defect on the premises.
  • Premises Liability Accidents: Property owners are liable if you get hurt because of a hazard on their property that you couldn’t see and avoid.
  • Defective Product Accidents: You use all sorts of products while working. If a machine, piece of equipment, or other product had a design or manufacturing defect, you could get hurt.
  • Workplace Violence Accidents: Unexpected violence is a real risk. You might be hurt in a workplace shooting or other attacks.
  • Hazardous Materials Exposure: Another person or business’s carelessness might expose you to toxic substances.

Third-Party Liability Claims Are Separate from Workers’ Comp

A third-party liability claim is entirely separate from your workers’ compensation claim. If you’re an employee who was hurt while working, then you’re entitled to workers’ compensation benefits. You’ll work with your employer and their workers’ compensation insurance administrator to receive benefits. You can receive those benefits until you can return to work or if you’re fully disabled for the rest of your life.

You are entitled to workers’ compensation benefits, even if you can demand compensation from a third party. And you can file a third-party personal injury lawsuit even if you receive workers’ comp benefits. One doesn’t disqualify you from pursuing the other.

Proving a Third-Party Claim

A third-party claim that you bring for damages is a personal injury claim. If you lost a loved one in a workplace accident, then you’d bring a third-party wrongful death case. During a personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit, you must prove negligence.

There are four elements in any negligence-based claim:

  • The other party had a duty of care
  • The other party breached their duty of care
  • The other party’s breach directly and proximately caused the accident
  • You suffered physical, emotional, and financial injuries

Your attorney is going to put forward evidence about how the third party behaved unreasonably. It might be that the person or an employee of another business did something that a reasonable person in that situation wouldn’t have done. Or, it might be that the person or other employee failed to do something that would have been reasonable. Their inaction might’ve caused the accident.

Third-Party Claim Compensation

During a third-party personal injury case, your attorney will demand you receive compensation for your:

  • Medical bills
  • Property damage
  • Lost income
  • Reduced future earnings
  • Disability
  • Disfigurement
  • Pain and suffering
  • Emotional distress
  • Lower quality of life
  • Loss of consortium

Benefits of Filing a Third-Party Claim

Workers’ compensation benefits are important and helpful. But they will never make up for all of your lost income, and they don’t pay for your physical pain and emotional distress. Workers’ comp doesn’t ever fully compensate you. The only way to pursue full and fair compensation is if you hold the at-fault party responsible through a third-party lawsuit.

How Long You Have to File a Third-Party Claim

In Illinois, you have two years from the date of the accident to file a personal injury lawsuit. It’s best to talk with a lawyer about getting started right away when the evidence is still fresh.

Workers’ Compensation Subrogation

If you file a third-party claim against the party that caused your workplace accident, then your employer or the workers’ comp insurance carrier can place a lien on that potential settlement or judgment. The insurance carrier has paid for your lost wages and medical expenses. If you win money from the at-fault party, the insurer will demand to be paid back. Your attorney will explain the issue of subrogation before you pursue a third-party personal injury lawsuit and how it will impact your final recovery.

Talk with a Lawyer After a Workplace Accident

If you were injured in a workplace accident, talk with us at Staver Accident Injury Lawyers, P.C. We can help you get started with your workers’ compensation claim right away and investigate whether a third party is liable for your injuries. When there’s evidence that a third person or business is involved, we’ll fight for you to receive compensation for your injuries. You can reach us through our online form or call (312) 236-2900 for a free consultation.

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(312) 236-2900
(312) 236-2900