Generally, employees cannot sue employers following a workplace accident. However, the same cannot be said of a third party whose negligence caused the accident.
You can bring a personal injury claim against the negligent third party and recover damages.
When can a third party be liable for your workplace accident?
There are several scenarios when this can happen. For instance, a defective product may have been behind your accident, or a reckless driver may have caused your on-the-job injuries. Likewise, an independent contractor at your job may have been negligent, leading to your accident. In all these cases, the negligent third parties could be held liable for the damages you suffered.
What damages can you recover?
Workers’ compensation benefits only cover medical expenses and a portion of your wages. However, you can recover the full range of damages in a typical personal injury case for a claim brought against a negligent third party. Such damages include loss of enjoyment of life or the physical pain and emotional distress caused by your injuries.
Is negligence a factor?
Unlike workers’ compensation, where fault is not a big deal, your claim against the third party is hinged on their negligence. It is up to you to show that they owed you a duty of care that they breached, resulting in your injuries. Without the element of negligence, your claim may be unsuccessful.
Getting the compensation you deserve
Most of the time, workers’ compensation is the only resort that you have. However, there are exceptions. It pays to discuss all of the legal options you have regarding your workers’ comp claim with someone who understands the possibilities.