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Third-Party Liability in Workers’ Compensation Cases

 Posted on November 28, 2022 in Workers' Compensation

shutterstock_1406835650-1.jpgPeople who suffer injuries on the job can be entitled to workers’ compensation, and workers’ compensation benefits are usually paid regardless of fault. When an employer’s own negligence is the cause of a devastating accident, then people may want to pursue additional legal options beyond just workers’ compensation.

When Third Parties Are Liable for Workplace Accidents

If a person is involved in an accident while they are working, such as another person causing a motor vehicle accident while doing something for work, that person can recover workers’ compensation benefits that will help pay bills. The problem is that the employer is paying for those benefits and the employer did not cause the accident, the negligent driver did.

A third-party claim is a separate lawsuit a person files in addition to seeking workers’ compensation benefits. Virtually every claim will involve negligence and require a person to prove that another party had a duty of care, they breached that duty of care, that breach caused injuries, and those injuries have resulted in damages.

Car accidents are one common kind of cause for third-party claims, but other incidents may include construction site accidents, slip and fall accidents, defective product accidents, premises liability accidents, and hazardous materials. Whereas your workers’ compensation benefits are based on a portion of your annual wages, a third-party action can result in various damage awards, including money for medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering.

It is important to understand that you only have a limited amount of time to file a third-party lawsuit, so you need to speak to a lawyer as soon as possible to evaluate all of your options. You also need to know that winning a case against a third party could impact your workers’ compensation case.

Either your employer or the workers’ compensation insurance carrier may seek to place a lien on any judgment or settlement you receive. This process is known as subrogation, and a lawyer can negotiate with an insurer that will usually be seeking repayment of money it paid for lost wages and medical bills when a person is receiving more money for those same costs.

Call Us Today to Speak with a Will County Work Accident Lawyer

If you suffered serious injuries or your loved one died on the job in Will County, you need to be sure that you invest in legal representation without delay. Make sure that you take the time to speak to a Joliet workers’ compensation attorney at McNamara Phelan McSteen, LLC.  

Our firm works tirelessly in these types of cases to help people pursue every last dollar that is available to them. You can call 815-727-0100 or contact us online to receive a free consultation.



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