Workers who suffer on-the-job injuries from accidents may be able to receive worker’s compensation. These benefits can help cover medical expenses and lost wages. However, because injured workers can receive workers’ comp, they cannot file lawsuits against their employers under most circumstances. Despite this rule, there are still options for workers to file lawsuits against others who contributed to their injuries. Workers who suffered injuries from accidents caused by third parties may have the option of filing third party lawsuits.
What Is a Third Party?
Third parties are people or businesses separate from an injured worker’s employer. For example, let’s say defective equipment on an oil rig causes a workplace injury. Depending on the circumstances, a worker injured by that piece of equipment could a file lawsuit against the manufacturer.
Another example could be if a worker were hit by a drunk driver while on-the-clock or injured by a contractor employed by a separate company. The latter example is increasingly common, especially on offshore rigs and at construction sites.
These are all cases where an accident was caused by the negligent actions of parties with no direct relationship to the injured worker’s employer.
How Do Third Party Lawsuits and Workers’ Compensation Differ?
Workers’ comp benefits can cover medical expenses, lost wages and other various costs associated with workplace injuries. However, workers’ comp cannot provide compensation for pain and suffering. As a result, awards from third party claims can be much larger.
It is important for injured workers or their families to contact a personal injury attorney. There may be more options available in addition to workers’ comp.