Not all work accidents arise from unsafe conditions at the workplace or a worker’s mistake. In some cases, a third party may be partly or wholly responsible. For instance, a defective product may be behind a workplace accident, as can a negligent contractor or a reckless driver.
When another party is to blame for your workplace accident, you can file a workers’ compensation claim as usual and still hold them liable for your injuries. It can help you recover compensation that may be unavailable with ordinary workers’ compensation benefits.
How do the two claims differ?
As mentioned, you can recover several damages from the negligent third party that workers’ compensation benefits do not cover. They include compensation for physical pain and suffering, disfigurement or emotional anguish caused by your injuries. You can also recover the full extent of lost wages with a third-party liability claim.
However, there are significant differences between your workers’ compensation claim and one against the negligent third party. Perhaps the most notable one is the element of negligence. In a workers’ compensation claim, negligence is not a factor. You can still get benefits if you were to blame for the workplace accident.
On the other hand, your claim against a third party is like any other personal injury claim. As such, you need to show that their negligence caused your injuries to recover any compensation.
Protect your legal rights after a workplace accident
If you are unaware of how third-party liability claims work or are unsure if you have a valid case, it is advisable to seek the necessary assistance. An informed assessment of the circumstances that led to your workplace accident will ensure you make the right call and help protect your interests.