Thanks to Illinois’ no-fault workers’ compensation law, someone injured on the job may file a claim regardless of fault. However, there may also be another type of claim to be made to against a responsible non-employer third party. If a non-employer third party caused the harm in whole or part, they are responsible for damages which are not otherwise recoverable in the workers’ compensation claim.
Workers’ compensation coverage
Workers’ compensation provides an insurance program that offers compensation for approved employee claims. In Illinois, the law generally bars an employee from suing an employer for negligence outside of worker’ compensation. In an Illinois workers’ compensation claim, an injured employee cannot recover for any pain and suffering experienced.
A third party could be any person or entity that caused or contributed to the harm. For example, another contractor’s actions might cause an injury to a non-employee working on the same jobsite. An employee making a delivery may be injured by a defect at the premises where the delivery is made. There can be third party liability even if the injured employee’s company is the only company onsite at the time of the injury.
Other elements related to worker lawsuits
Third-party lawsuits may include product liability cases. Tools, electric devices, and other items could hurt someone if they malfunction due to defects. A forklift operator may have a claim against a manufacturer if the forklift suffers from a mechanical defect. Or, the lawsuit may end up directed towards a repair professional that delivered a shoddy job.
Assessing whether any third-party liability exists is often not in plain sight. Any serious injury at work should be reviewed by a law firm with experienced attorneys who handle both workers’ compensation claims and third-party lawsuits. Experienced lawyers will navigate both claims to make sure an injured employee’s medical bills are paid, they receive payments while off work and receive compensation for pain and suffering when there is third party liability.