Third Party Claims in Workers Comp Cases
In most cases, employees injured by independent third parties can file workers’ compensation claims through their employers’ insurance companies AND separate third-party negligence claims against those who inflicted the injuries. If you are injured through the negligence of a “third party” (someone other than your employer or yourself), then you may still have a claim against that third party based on that party’s fault.
Making a personal injury claim in addition to your workers compensation claim allows you to seek recovery of damages not covered by workers compensation, and may come closer to making you whole after your accident by compensating you for injuries such as the emotional trauma you suffered or the loss of your normal life outside of work.
Examples of workers’ compensation claims with third-party personal injury liability include the following:
When the worker is on someone else’s property and falls or is bit by a dog, then that property owner or dog owner may be liable.
When the worker is rear ended while driving in his or her employment, such as a delivery person, then the driver and registered owners of the other vehicle may be liable for personal injury damages.
When the worker is using unsafe or defective machinery that causes a cut, amputation or other injury, then the manufacturer and supplier of the unsafe or defective machinery may also be liable.
States have exclusive remedy laws to protects employers from being sued by their employees. An employee cannot file a claim for workers’ compensation and subsequently file a personal injury suit against the same employer.