While many worker injuries result from slip-and-falls, muscle strains, and burn accidents on the job, others can be linked to the negligence of another party. When another company, product or person causes a work injury, it might be possible to make a third-party liability claim.
Different from worker’s compensation, a third-party claim is an additional claim an injured worker can bring against another party who is not the employer. Common examples of third parties can include:
- A contractor who installs machinery incorrectly leading to an accident
- A manufacturer responsible for defective products
- A negligent driver who caused a collision with the worker who was performing job tasks
- A subcontractor operating machinery at your worksite
While this is only a partial list, it gives the reader an idea of what is meant by a third party.
Why is this important?
Depending on the circumstances of the accident and the severity of the resulting injury, workers’ compensation benefits can help an individual avoid financial peril while he or she is off the job healing. Workers’ compensation benefits are not tied to negligence. They are also designed to protect the employer from injury liability claims. When the accident is caused by a third party (someone other than the worker and employer), however, the injured employee could seek additional compensation in the form of physical pain, mental anguish and other losses that are not covered by the employer’s workers’ compensation policy.
On-the-job injuries can come in numerous forms. From a single accident to toxic exposure, danger can come from many directions. When these accidents are the result of the negligence or inattention of a person outside the organization, workers might be entitled to recover workers’ compensation benefits as well as compensation from a third-party liability case.