When discussing work injuries, most people think about an employee’s injury as being caused by their employer. After experiencing an injury while on the job, Texas workers traditionally have two options: file a workers’ compensation claim that absolves their employer of responsibility or pursue a claim against their employer in court for damages.
However, what happens if a third party is the source of a worker’s injury? If someone else injures you at your job, you will be able to file a claim against the third party while claiming workers' compensation from your employer.
What Is a Third-Party Claim?
A person makes a third-party claim after experiencing an injury caused by another person they are not contractually involved with. For example, if a person was a passenger in a car and was injured in an accident caused by someone else (i.e. the third party), they will be able to file a third-party claim. This is a third-party claim because the passenger does not have a contractual agreement with the insurance company of the person who hit the car they were in. Third-party injury claims also apply to work injury claims.
Third-party work injury claims become relevant when a person is injured by an individual who is not an employee of their company. A work injury from a third party may happen in a variety of ways. For example, if a person is driving for their employer when they are involved in an accident, they can make a third-party claim against the person who caused the crash. A worker may file a third-party claim after being injured by the reckless actions of a contractor who is not a full-time employee of their company. If a contractor creates a hazard that causes a worker to trip and fall, the injured worker might consider filing a claim against the third-party contractor.
Sometimes, a third party does not need to be present at a job site to be liable for the injuries experienced by a worker. This idea is especially relevant for faulty equipment. Contractors are responsible for maintaining the machinery they rent out or use. In some cases, a manufacturer will be to blame with faulty, dangerous, or inadequate equipment design. In a recent case, Arnold & Itkin was able to hold a company liable for failing to provide a safe workplace and file a claim against an equipment manufacturer for a faulty design in the same case.
Why Would an Employee Choose a Third-Party Claim Over Workers’ Compensation?
Workers' compensation is appealing because it provides workers with a sure source of financial support after an accident. However, though it may take more time, a personal injury case against a third-party allows workers to pursue more damages and receive more compensation for their injuries. This additional compensation can help ensure their family is provided for if their injury is permanent or debilitating.
Third-party worker injury claims can seek compensation for the following:
- Loss of wages
- Loss of earning capacity
- Physical and emotional suffering
- Past and future medical costs
- Compensation for property damage
- Any other damages appropriate in the case
So, while an employee can file workers’ compensation for immediate payment, a third-party claim will enable them to pursue potentially much more in court. Workers’ compensation only solves immediate financial issues, but a personal injury attorney fights for full economic recovery.
If a third party injured you at work, call the work injury attorneys from Arnold & Itkin today at (888) 493-1629. We’ve recovered billions for clients and are ready to help you!