As a dedicated worker, you are probably familiar with the workers’ compensation program that provides you with benefits if you are injured on the job. This program often prevents you from suing your employer, but it provides you with important medical benefits and partial wage replacement income. However, you may be entitled to sue a third party who caused your workplace injury without jeopardizing any workers’ compensation rules.
At Greg Coleman Law, we look at ways to maximize your recovery. In addition to looking into filing a workers’ compensation claim, we also assess whether there may be a third party which can be held responsible for a portion of your accident so that you can recover for damages that are not covered by workers’ compensation.
We can evaluate your legal options during a free, no obligation consultation of your claim. Contact an experienced Knoxville workers’ compensation lawyer for help today.
Common Types of Third-Party Workplace Accidents
There are various types of third-party workplace accidents, including:
One of the most common work-related accidents are motor vehicle accidents. Many people drive as part of their regular job duties, including delivery drivers, taxi drivers, salespeople and service personnel. Others may be traveling for work or completing work-related errands. Others may have to travel to a different location than the home base of the job, such as a construction site. The person who caused the accident may be a liable third party.
Slips and Falls
Another common way of getting injured while working is to slip and fall. While this type of accident may be part of a standard workers’ compensation claim, you may be able to sue the property owner if you are not on property owned by your employer.
For example, you may have been sent to a customer’s home and slipped on an icy walkway or fell down broken stairs. Property owners are expected to keep their property in a safe condition for their visitors.
A third party may also be held responsible if you are injured by a defective product. You may have used equipment on the job that malfunctioned or that did not contain proper safety warnings. In these situations, you may be able to pursue a claim against the manufacturer of the defective product.
If you are injured by a toxic contaminant, you may have a toxic tort claim against the party responsible for providing the dangerous substance. For example, you may have been exposed to mold, asbestos, lead paint, harmful chemicals, or contamination from waste and noxious gases.
Parties that Can Be Held Liable for a Third-Party Workplace Accident
A third party may be held responsible for an accident when someone who is not working for the employer causes the injury. Third parties who may be held responsible for workplace accidents include:
- Property owners – The owner of a property may be held legally responsible for a workplace accident that occurred on his or her property in an unsafe condition that led to the worker’s injury.
- Other drivers – A person who was driving negligently and caused an accident may be held liable for your injuries.
- Manufacturers – Manufacturers may be held liable if you were harmed by a dangerous product.
- Construction contractors – Third-party claims are common on construction sites when there may be many different people working on the same job but who have different employers. A subcontractor may be harmed by a contractor, electrician, architect, roofer or other subcontractor who caused the injury.
Compensation for a Third-Party Lawsuit
The most significant benefit of filing a third-party lawsuit is the possibility of recovering compensation for damages not provided by workers’ compensation, such as:
- Pain and suffering
- Property damage
- Future lost wages
- Full wage replacement
However, if you file a third-party lawsuit, you will have to show how the third party was negligent and how this negligence caused your injury.
Can I Also File a Workers’ Compensation Claim?
Even if you file a claim against a third party, you might still be able to file a workers’ compensation claim. This type of claim does not require that you show how your employer was responsible for the accident.
However, your compensation is limited to only those benefits provided by law. One of our experienced lawyers can explain the pros and cons of filing both causes of action at the same time.
Contact a Lawyer
If you were injured in a workplace accident, contact the experienced legal team at Greg Coleman Law. We take a comprehensive approach to determining all of your possible avenues of recovery. We can discuss your possible legal options during a free, no-obligation consultation.
At Greg Coleman Law, we charge no upfront fees. We also work on a contingency fee basis, meaning that we only get paid for our legal services if we help you recover compensation for your claim.