Workers’ compensation insurance scheme shields employers from most lawsuits arising from workplace accidents. However, it does not protect third parties against legal action if their negligence contributed to or led to your injuries.
For instance, if a defective product leads to your workplace accident, you can take action against the manufacturer. Similarly, you can hold a negligent driver legally liable if they caused a crash and you got injured while on a work-related errand.
It means you can recover compensation from third parties, separate from your workers’ compensation benefits. Below is more on what you need to know if a third party was involved in your workplace accident.
The elements of a third-party injury claim
Third-party injury claims are not like workers’ compensation claims because they’re personal injury claims. That means you must prove the third party owed you a duty of care, and that they breached that duty through negligent, reckless or willful behavior, causing your injuries. You must also show that you suffered damages due to the third party’s negligence. It could be the medical expenses you incurred, lost wages and even the pain and suffering you endured.
You may be entitled to a wider range of damages
While a personal injury claim against a third party can be complicated, you can recover more damages through a civil claim than what workers’ compensation benefits offer. These include damages like loss of your property plus compensation for your emotional anguish, pain and suffering.
If a third party fully or partially contributed to your workplace accident, seeking legal guidance is essential. As mentioned, it’s a whole different rule book for such claims, and it helps to understand and protect your legal rights from the word go.