You were hurt on the job, and the injuries are serious. While workers’ compensation is seeing to your medical needs, the replacement wages aren’t exactly generous. Worse, you suspect that you’re looking at long-term care needs.
Generally speaking, workers’ compensation benefits are your sole recourse against your employer (whether they were negligent or not) – but that doesn’t mean that you can’t sue any third party that shares the responsibility for your condition.
Who could be sued in a third-party claim?
A third-party claim is nothing more than a personal injury claim against anybody other than your employer whose actions or inactions may have contributed to your workplace accident. For example, potential third-party defendants could include:
- Product manufacturers: Maybe your injury was caused by a malfunctioning tool that your employer just bought. If the product was badly designed, didn’t carry the appropriate warnings or was badly made, suing its manufacturer is a viable option.
- Negligent drivers: Were you hit by a car piloted by a distracted driver while you were working on a roadside construction site? Did a delivery driver back up into you while delivering raw materials? Either way, you may have a valid third-party claim against the at-fault driver.
- Subcontractors: If the IT company your employer subcontracts left wires trailing all over the floor or a cleaning company forgot to put up “Wet Floor” signs, they could be sued if that led to a fall and your injuries.
- Property owners: Maybe you’re the person who is sent to other businesses to provide on-site services. If you end up injured because the property was in disrepair and you didn’t get sufficient warning, the property owner could be negligent.
A third-party lawsuit isn’t possible in every workplace injury case, but they are available in many. When your condition is severe, that’s often the best way to provide for any ongoing needs not already covered by workers’ comp. Learn more about your legal options so that you can receive the maximum compensation for your losses.