Can You File a Third-Party Lawsuit After a Workplace Injury?
Posted by PKSD Law Firm on Apr 10, 2018 in Workers' Rights
Many workers think the only way to obtain compensation for an on-the-job injury is by filing a workers' compensation claim. However, this month's PKSD newsletter covers third-party lawsuits for workplace injuries, which allow you to obtain compensation outside of the workers' compensation system.
Filing a third-party lawsuit is an important option as workers' compensation benefits are under attack and shrinking in some states. Workplace injuries are often costly to treat and leave you unable to work for an extended length of time, so a third-party claim may be a necessity if you want to recover financially from the injury.
Types of Third-Party Lawsuits
Third-party lawsuits are often an option after a construction accident because there may be other entities involved in the worker's injury, such as general contractors, subcontractors or trucking companies.
For example, if you were hit by a gravel truck as it was backing up, you might be able to sue the trucking company or driver. If the truck had a backup warning horn but it was disabled, you might be able to sue the trucking company over it.
Lawsuits against general contractors are often an option when the general contractor did not follow proper safety guidelines.
Another common type of third-party lawsuit is one against a manufacturer over manufacturing or design defects. For example, maybe you were injured while using defective power tools. An attorney could help you determine if design or manufacturing defects caused the tool to be unreasonably dangerous.
Benefits of Third-Party Lawsuits
If you ever get injured at work, you should file a workers' compensation claim. It can provide compensation for all injury-related medical expenses and lost wages and earning capacity.
However, one of the disadvantages of workers' compensation is it does not compensate you for pain and suffering, lost companionship or punitive damages.
Fortunately, you may be able to file a personal injury lawsuit against a third party to recover these forms of compensation, in addition to your workers' compensation benefits.
However, unlike in a workers' compensation claim, you need to prove negligence occurred to obtain compensation from a third-party lawsuit.
Contact PKSD Today to Discuss Your Legal Options
Have you been injured in a workplace accident? You could be entitled to workers' compensation benefits covering your medical bills and a portion of your lost wages. You may also be able to file a lawsuit to obtain additional compensation.
Our Milwaukee personal injury attorneys can review your legal options and help you pursue the compensation you deserve. We offer a free, no obligation consultation and do not charge legal fees unless you recover compensation.