Filing a Third-Party Claim After a Work Injury
After suffering an injury in the workplace, you may be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits from your employer. But, did you know that if another party caused or contributed to your injury, you may be able to file a third-party claim and receive additional compensation for your losses?
When filing a third-party claim after a work injury, you want to work with an experienced attorney. Our personal injury attorneys at Gama Law Firm can investigate your workplace accident and help you determine whether or not you can sue any third party for your work-related injury. Call us today to get started. We serve injured individuals in Aurora, Colorado, and the surrounding areas, including Denver, Castle Pines, Parker, and Centennial.
Common Workplace Injuries
The workplace can be a hazardous space for employees, and injuries can happen in many ways. Some of the most common types/causes of workplace injuries include:
Employer negligence is a major contributor to workplace injuries as employers may not take proper safety precautions or follow safety regulations, which could put employees in harm’s way.
Faulty equipment can include machinery that malfunctions due to improper maintenance or defects.
Slip and fall accidents can occur from wet or uneven floors or poor lighting conditions which make it difficult for employees to see potential hazards. According to the National Safety Council, slips, trips, and falls account for 18% of all non-fatal workplace injuries that result in days away from work.
Inadequate employee training. Employees who have not been properly trained on how to use a particular piece of equipment or perform a certain task may be more likely to make mistakes that could lead to an injury.
Commercial vehicle accidents can occur due to drivers’ negligence while operating company vehicles such as delivery vans or tractor-trailers on public roads or highways.
Safety code violations. Some companies may not be adhering strictly enough to safety codes and regulations, which could put workers at risk for serious injury or even death.
Regardless of how your workplace injury occurred, there may be multiple at-fault parties.
Filing a Third-Party Claim
You may have the right to file a third-party claim if the negligence of someone other than your employer or their agents caused or contributed to your workplace accident and resulting injuries.
For example, if you were injured while using defective equipment provided by an outside vendor, you could potentially seek compensation from this third party. Or, if there was poorly maintained property or inadequate security at the worksite, and these conditions directly contributed to your accident, then it might be possible to file a claim against the property owner.
It is important to remember that your eligibility for workers’ compensation benefits does not stop you from filing a third-party claim. In fact, workers’ comp benefits can even help with medical expenses until the third-party claim is resolved.
Who Can You File a Third-Party Claim Against?
The potential defendants in a third-party personal injury lawsuit are numerous. If any of these parties had anything to do with causing or contributing to an accident at work, they can potentially be held liable for damages:
Drivers of vehicles involved in commercial vehicle accidents
To prove a third party’s negligence in court, you must establish four elements in your claim:
Duty of care owed by the defendant (the third party) toward the plaintiff (you);
Breach of that duty through an act of omission or commission by the defendant;
Causation between the breach and the plaintiff’s injury; and
Damages suffered as a consequence of the defendant’s breach.
When filing a third-party claim after a work injury, you need to understand the concept of “subrogation.” Subrogation occurs when insurance companies get back money paid on insurance claims.
For example, if an employee receives workers’ compensation benefits prior to filing suit against any other responsible parties (third parties), then the workers’ comp provider has a right to be reimbursed out of the settlement with the third party. Sometimes, the insurance provider may even try to settle directly with the third party to obtain reimbursement for any medical benefits they paid out.
Get the Support & Advocacy You Deserve
If you were injured at work, you might want to speak with our personal injury attorneys at Gama Law Firm to determine whether or not you can file a third-party claim after your workplace accident. Contact our office today to schedule a free case review.