Workers’ compensation and third-party claims

| Apr 29, 2021 | Workers' Compensation |

In most situations, if you are injured on the job in Illinois, you are eligible for workers’ compensation benefits. This can be important in covering your medical expenses and lost wages. However, there might be a third party who is responsible for your work-related accident, and if this is the case, you may be able to sue this party as well. This can cover other costs, including future wages and pain and suffering.

Injury by a third party

The idea behind this is that you receive workers’ compensation instead of filing a lawsuit against your employer. This protection from being sued does not extend to other parties, so if another individual or company was a factor in your on-the-job injury, you might want to look into a third party lawsuit. As an example, you might be injured by faulty equipment. If this was because of a manufacturer’s error, you might be able to sue the manufacturer. Often there are third-party cases when one is injured on a construction jobsite. Another contractor’s employee may have created or caused a dangerous condition. If you work for the subcontractor, the general contractor or construction manager may be responsible for unsafe working conditions.

Managing third-party lawsuits

Evidence, findings and material from workers’ compensation may be relevant in the third-party case and vice versa. For this reason, attorneys need to either share information and work together to some extent or, ideally, the same attorney might handle both cases. This could increase the likelihood that important elements in each case will not slip through the cracks.

There are certain procedures that must be followed and deadlines that must be met when you are filing for workers’ compensation and third-party claims. You might want to consult an attorney experienced in handling both workers compensation and third-party claims to discuss your work injury and investigate whether you might also be able to file a third-party lawsuit. You may also want to talk to an attorney if you are worried that your employer might discourage you from filing either type of claim, which is prohibited.