Can I Sue a Third Party If I’m Injured at Work?

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We explain third-party lawsuits and work accidents. Workplace injuries or illnesses can lead to expenses that may jeopardize your finances. For instance, you may be unable to return to work for an extended period of time. You will also likely have medical expenses and lost income to cover. Workers’ compensation benefits can help pay for these expenses. You would probably not be able to sue your employer for damages unless they are guilty of serious and willful misconduct. However, there are scenarios where you might be able to file a lawsuit against a third party. A third party is a person or business who is not your employer, such as a subcontractor on a construction site or a drunk driver. Equipment manufacturers are also possible examples of a third party. Depending on the circumstances of your workplace accident, you may be able to file a “third-party claim” against these individuals or businesses. For example, you may be able to file a claim if defective construction equipment caused your injury. You would file the lawsuit against the manufacturer of the equipment. If you were hit by a drunk driver on the job, you would file a lawsuit against the drunk driver.

Are There Benefits to Third-Party Lawsuits?

Workers’ compensation benefits cover some of your medical expenses and lost income. These benefits do not pay pain and suffering damages. In addition, workers’ comp may not always provide the full amount of benefits needed to recover from an injury or illness. This is likely to be true if your accident led to a catastrophic injury, such as a spinal cord or brain injury. Third-party lawsuits allow you to recover compensation for pain and suffering. A settlement or award from a third-party lawsuit can exceed what you may recover from workers’ compensation benefits. You can recover compensation from workers’ comp while a third-party lawsuit is being resolved. However, some of the settlement could be subjected to subrogation from your employer. The Gilroy work accident attorneys at Robbins, Strunk & Cramer can help you determine which options for compensation are available after a work accident. If you or a loved one suffered a workplace injury or illness, we encourage you to contact our firm for a free consultation.

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