What you should know about injuries caused by third-party negligence?
Recently my friend Paul (a limousine driver) met with an accident. His limousine was rear-ended by a truck. Thanks to heavy traffic the impact was not too much but, my friend suffered some serious back injuries which will keep him out of work for at least a couple of months, if not more. He has been advised to file for third-party negligence in addition to workers’ compensation.
Who could be termed as the “third party” in the case of a work injury?
Third party liability or negligence comes into play when a work injury is caused by someone who doesn’t work for your employer, similar to what happened to Paul. The third party as the name suggests is another person or entity who is not your employer.
Here are a few examples of who are categorized as the third party:
- Companies who manufacture and/or distribute toxic materials (without proper safety instructions)
- Manufacturers and distributors of defective machinery or unsafe products
- Manufacturers of unsafe equipment which are used in industry
- Motor vehicles belonging to a third party which has been involved in an accident
- Property owners who put others at risks due to their negligence like not clearing sidewalks after a snowfall, not putting up caution signs)
All of the above can cause people at work to suffer significant injuries as a result.
We have made it easy for you to identify the term “third party” negligence in the following situations where you can file a personal injury lawsuit and claimed compensation related to your injuries:
- You are on the road in a company vehicle or a paid vehicle doing company related work, and you meet with an accident. Then the person who causes the accident is the third party.
- You get injured due to defective tools or products. The manufacturer is the third party and can be liable.
- You get injured when a delivery truck is trying to pull into the bay of your warehouse. Since your injury is caused by the truck driver, he becomes the third party.
- You get injured due to a toxic substance manufactured by a third party.
Unfortunately, workers’ compensation doesn’t cover everything. There’s no compensation for your pain and suffering, or disfigurement, or wage loss beyond the limits of workers’ compensation.
The only way to recover these additional damages caused by a third party (someone other than your employer or coworkers), is a personal injury lawsuit against the equipment supplier, manufacturer or driver (in the case of road accidents).
You would need to prove the following in order to establish your claims:
- A duty existed: It was the duty of the “third-party” to keep you free from harm.
- Breach of duty: The “third-party” didn’t adhere to their duties of keeping you safe.
- There was an injury: You as a victim suffered damages.
- Cause: Their (third-party) negligence caused your injury.
The important point to note when filing for third-party negligence is to make sure that you can prove or have facts that the injury was indeed due to their fault. Consultation with a work injury lawyer is important when filing for third party liabilities. Third party claims can allow an injured worker to claim 100% compensation and wage loss for the past and future. 100% of the medical treatment can also be claimed along with compensations for the pain and suffering.
The possibility of financial recovery from a personal injury case caused due to third party negligence may be greater than what could be recovered in a normal workers’ compensation claim. Your employer can also stake a claim on the compensation benefits that you receive from the third party negligence.
Work injuries as the result of third-party negligence can be confusing. If you have questions regarding a case or want to speak to a representative, the attorneys at Goldberg & Wolf are more than happy to help. Contact a member of our legal team today at (856) 651-1600 for more information.