Workers’ Comp & Personal Injury: The Role of Third-Party Liability
By Laura McElroy

If you’ve been injured at work, you can file a workers’ compensation claim that entitles you to benefits such as cover for your medical expenses, your lost wages and partial disability. However, you will not be compensated for your non-economic losses. 

If you file a third-party liability claim because the negligence of a person or entity separate from your employer was responsible for the accident that caused your injuries, you may receive more comprehensive compensation. 

The difference between workers’ compensation and personal injury

The main differences between a personal injury lawsuit and a workers’ compensation claim lies in the type of compensation offered and the fault requirements. 

In a workers’ compensation case, you’re entitled to benefits if you’re injured on the job, and there are only a few limited exceptions. This applies provided that you follow certain procedures as an employee and that your claim qualifies. 

A personal injury claim is based on fault and you can file a claim if your injuries are caused by the negligence or wrongdoing of another party. 

Workers’ compensation benefits are limited and getting full and fair compensation can be challenging. For example, you won’t be compensated for pain and suffering or loss of enjoyment of life. A personal injury claim entitles you to recover all the damages you’ve suffered. 

What is a third-party liability claim?

In most cases, employees can’t file a traditional personal injury lawsuit against their employer for work-related injuries. However, if you are injured at work and someone unrelated to your employment is to blame for your injuries, you may be able to file a claim against the third party. 

This is separate from any workers’ compensation claim you may file. If you are awarded damages in a third-party lawsuit, the benefits available for a workers’ compensation claim may be limited accordingly. 

Third-party liability is when you (the first party) are not injured by your employer (second party) but by some other person or business (a third party). If you are confused, consider talking to Accident Lawyers at USAttorneys.com to gain some clarity on who is at fault and what steps to take to ensure that you get the compensation you deserve. 

Common examples

If you’re injured at work, you need to act fast and speak to an attorney. At USAttorneys.com you will be able to find a lawyer who understands the intricacies of the law and will be able to give you sound advice on how to proceed. 

Third-party claims are often worthwhile because the damages available to victims can be greater under personal injury law than under workers’ compensation law. 

Auto accident: If driving forms a part of your job duties and are injured by a third-party driver, you may be able to recover from that person’s insurance company (or your own no-fault insurance policy) and also file a workers’ compensation claim. This situation may arise if you’re injured while running work-related errands, making sales calls, or transporting goods for a company. 

Premises liability: If you are injured while working on someone else’s property, like a third-party construction site or a private residence, and the injury is caused by the negligence of the property owner, you may be able to file a third-party claim against the owner. 

Products liability: If you are injured on the job because of defective machinery, you may be able to recover compensation from the manufacturer. 

Toxic chemical exposure: If you’ve been exposed to toxic chemicals while at work and it has seriously affected your health, you may file a claim against the company that created the substance. 

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