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Understanding third-party liability in workplace accidents

On Behalf of | Dec 18, 2023 | Workers' Compensation

Imagine a scenario where a careless driver collides with you while you’re running a work-related errand or a faulty piece of equipment leads to an injury at your workplace. Such instances are just a couple of ways a third party could be implicated in a workplace accident.

You can file a personal injury claim against the liable third party for the harm and injuries resulting from your accident. This is separate from a workers’ compensation claim, and you can recover a wider range of damages. However, the claims process works much differently, as explained below.

Negligence is a key factor

You must demonstrate how the third party’s negligence led to your workplace accident. It means showing a breach of the duty of care they owed you that lead to your workplace accident and subsequent injuries.

In the examples above, the negligent driver and equipment manufacturer owed you a duty of care. As such, they could be held liable for the ensuing damages, and you can recover a range of damages not covered by workers’ compensation benefits. These include non-monetary damages like emotional anguish, a diminished quality of life, pain and suffering.

Your degree of fault for the workplace accident matters in such claims. The negligent third party can only be liable for their portion of responsibility. Therefore, your contribution to the workplace accident could shape the settlement of your claim.

Get help with your claim

Understanding third-party liability involves determining whether someone beyond your employer had a hand in causing the accident. It could be a product manufacturer, property owner, contractor or other external entities whose actions or oversights contributed to the incident.

Seeking legal guidance is crucial when a third party is involved in your workplace accident to help assess the viability of your claim and the damages you can seek as well as to protect your interests during the claims process.