You were hurt on the job, and it’s pretty serious. You filed for workers’ compensation benefits as soon as you could, but the benefits aren’t nearly enough to cover all of your needs.
Is there anything else you can do? Most of the time, workers’ compensation is your only recourse against your employer, even if they were negligent. That doesn’t mean, however, that you can’t look to third parties that may have also contributed to your injuries.
A third-party claim can help you recover the compensation you need to take care of yourself and your family. Like any personal injury claim, this is done through a civil lawsuit, which operates outside the workers’ comp system.
What are some of the most common third-party claims?
There are all kinds of possibilities, but some third-party claims are more common than others. Frequently, workers encounter situations like:
- Work-related motor vehicle accidents: Even if you don’t drive for a living, you can end up in a wreck with another vehicle through no fault of your own. For example, road crew workers frequently have to contend with distracted drivers and speeders, both of whom cause serious accidents.
- Accidents caused by subcontractors: If you happen to work in construction, you know that subcontractors vary greatly in their quality. If a subcontractor’s negligence contributed to your injuries, you may be able to hold them liable.
- Injuries caused by defective equipment: A lot of work accidents happen because of machinery failures – and that can lead to claims against the manufacturer, distributor or rental company that supplied them. You may also have cause to look at the maintenance company that’s responsible for their upkeep.
- Injuries caused by dangerous premises: Broken steps, missing handrails and defective lighting are just some of the hazards you can face if you have to go to clients’ houses or make deliveries. If a homeowner failed to give adequate warning and didn’t keep the premises safe, that may give you the right to make a claim.
If workers’ compensation seems woefully inadequate to cover your losses, it may be time to explore your other options. A look into the possibility of a third-party claim could give you a new opportunity.