If you work in construction and have experienced a job injury, your employer’s workers’ compensation policy may help to cover medical bills and some of your lost wages while you recover.
WC is a no-fault insurance system. That means you may be eligible for benefits regardless of who caused the incident. On the other hand, under workers’ compensation law you cannot sue your employer.
However, if a third party’s negligence contributed to your injury, you may be able to file a personal claim against that party in addition to filing a workers’ compensation claim.
What are examples of potential third-party claims?
From subcontractors to property owners, your day-to-day work may involve many individuals from outside your own company. Examples of third parties that may be liable for construction and other on-the-job injuries include:
- Manufacturers who provide faulty machinery, tools or other equipment
- Property owners who fail to keep work conditions safe
- Drivers who cause an accident
- Subcontractors whose negligence causes injury
- Non-employee supervisors who fail to provide reasonable oversight
Why pursue a third-party claim in addition to workers’ comp?
The workers’ compensation benefits the law entitles you to may fall short of your needs, especially if your injury was severe. You may be facing a long, uncertain path to recovery, including the potential for permanent disability.
If you suffered a catastrophic injury and a third-party actor was at fault, filing a personal claim in addition to a workers’ comp claim may help you receive additional compensation that may not be available under WC law, including both present and future lost income, pain and suffering, and loss of quality of life.