If you suffer a workplace injury, you likely know that you can receive worker’s comp benefits to partially cover your time away from work, your medical bills and compensation for any permanent disability. However, worker’s comp does not compensate for pain and suffering or the loss of pre-accident normal life. In some circumstances you may want to file a third-party lawsuit for your injury, which can recoup full lost wages costs, pain and suffering and loss of normal life compensation too.
When a third-party suit might apply
Here are some common situations where a third-party lawsuit may come into play after an on-the-job accident:
- You are in a car accident while on the job. You don’t have to be a professional driver for this to occur. You could be driving to see a client or to pick up workplace supplies and suffer an injury in an accident. If the other driver was at fault for the crash, you could sue the driver to fully compensate you for your injuries and pain and suffering.
- You are a construction worker and are injured on the job. Another party you do not work for such as the project owner, construction manager, general contractor or a sub-contractor may have created the hazard, retained control over the job-site safety or failed to protect you from the hazard which causes or contributes to your injury. Then, you could sue that party in addition to filing for workers’ compensation and recover for your pain and suffering as well as loss of normal life. These types of third party lawsuits are the most overlooked unless an attorney with construction accident litigation experience evaluates the facts.
- You are a construction or industrial worker and are injured because of a faulty machinery, equipment or tools. Perhaps, a power saw you are using has a mechanical defect or does not have proper safety guards, which causes or contributes to your injury. You can file a personal injury product liability suit against the saw’s manufacturer.
- You receive an injury because of a property owner’s negligence while on the job. Perhaps, you are an at-home nurse and are visiting a client who lives in an apartment building. The building stairs are not in good repair causing you to fall and break your ankle on your way to your patient. You can bring an action against the building manager and the property manager for their failure to maintain the premises that causes or contributed to your injury.
What to do about possible third-party suits
Most employees don’t think about how a third-party lawsuit could fully compensate them after a work injury. Lawyers who routinely litigate both worker’s compensation and third-party liability cases are best suited to find the potential third-party suit arising from a work accident. Often lawyers without experience litigating construction accidents overlook a third-party work-related lawsuit.
Unless your construction accident is evaluated by an experienced third-party construction accident litigator, a third-party lawsuit may be overlooked. Regardless of the type of work accident, it’s always a good idea to consult an experienced personal injury attorney who routinely litigates both worker’s compensation and has third-party trial experience. If you think you may have grounds for a third-party lawsuit after a work injury, or even if have no idea, ask for a consultation.