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Third-Party Liability in Workers' Compensation Cases

third party claimsEmployees usually do not have a right to sue their employers for a work-related injury or illness since they are covered by workers’ compensation insurance. However, this does not prevent an employee from suing a third party that caused him or her harm while on the job.

When another person or entity causes a workplace accident that results in injury or death, it is vital to seek legal help as soon as possible to understand how to proceed with a strong case and make a valid claim against any third party liable for negligence.  

If you or a loved one sustained an injury at work because of a third party, you should contact a skilled Harrisburg workers’ compensation lawyer at Schmidt Kramer. We can help take care of all the details – from conducting a detailed investigation to negotiating fair compensation for your case.

What is Third-Party Liability?

Third-party liability exists in many standard claims where the employee suffers an injury at the hands of another person or company through negligence or recklessness. Third parties are usually not the business the employee works for. Instead, it is typically a vendor, client or another entity involved in the operation.

For example, third-party liability usually arises in workers’ compensation claims when there is a product, material or item that harms a worker. These cases normally let the employee seek both workers’ compensation benefits through his or her employer and pursue a lawsuit against the third party that is responsible for the accident.

Examples of Third-Party Claims

There are several ways an employee can suffer an injury caused by a third party. The following are examples of these incidents:

  • Driving a company car and getting hit by a distracted or impaired driver
  • Inhaling a toxic substance imported by another company
  • Falling off the railing installed by a separate business
  • Electrical injuries due to live wires on a construction site
  • Working off-site for the company on a property and being injured in the process

Many third-party claims occur when the employer provides additional work-related tasks that take the employee away from normal business activities. Numerous incidents are through another person or company that has no connection or provides services or products for the employer.

Car accidents are one of the most common types of third-party claims. These accidents receive coverage through the insurance carrier the employer purchases the policy through, and the third-party claim normally proceeds against the opposing insurance company.

What to Prove in a Third-Party Claim

Fault is not usually a factor in workers’ compensation cases. However, it is a factor when it comes to third-party claims. It may be possible to hold the following parties responsible for the incident under the following situations:

  • A manufacturer or distributor who was responsible for products that were dangerous, defective or faulty
  • The owner of a hazardous property who was aware of dangers on the property and failed to correct them
  • The owner of another business at the same job site that breached its duty of care
  • An equipment operator or driver who improperly handles the vehicle or equipment

There are certain elements of negligence that must be proven in a third-party claim. The first is proving a duty of care existed and was owed to you by the third party. Then you must establish that this duty of care was breached due to the negligent acts of the third-party which directly led to your injury.

Finally, you will need to prove that you suffered damages as a result such as medical expenses, loss of wages, and pain and suffering.

Contact Schmidt Kramer To Get Started Today

If you were harmed by a third party in the workplace, you should contact our legal team at Schmidt Kramer to initiate your claim immediately. We understand the difficulties these types of cases often involve and how it may cause unwanted stress while recovering from your injury.

We are on your side and can help you understand how the process works, what rights you may have and what we can do to help. We can guide you throughout the entire claims process to recover the benefits you deserve.

Contact our legal team today to schedule your free case evaluation. You are under no obligation to pay us for our services unless we help you recover compensation.

Give us a call at (717) 888-8888 to get started today.