Third Party Injury Claims
October 22, 2019
As of the end of March 2019, all school bus drivers in Georgia may need to be vetted twice per year by public safety officials. Georgia lawmakers recently passed a bus driver safety bill in the state Senate and House. The Georgia Senate passed the bill unanimously on March 26. The bill would... continue reading
May 2, 2019
For more than 45 years, the Injuries, Illnesses and Fatalities program at the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) has compiled statistics about injuries, illnesses and fatalities on the job in the U.S. According to a recent survey of the last 25 years of data, U.S. workers are getting injured less and... continue reading
In exchange for providing workers’ compensation benefits, Georgia employers are shielded from lawsuits by workers who are injured on the job. An injured employee also cannot sue a co-worker who played a role in his or her accident.
In some cases, it is proper to pursue a personal injury claim after a workplace accident and injury. These lawsuits can entitle the injured worker to recover compensation that goes beyond workers’ compensation benefits, such as payment for pain and suffering.If you are a worker who believes you may have a third-party injury claim, the Mann Law Firm wants you to know the following information:
How Do Third-Party Injury Claims Arise?Workers’ compensation is a no-fault program. This means that a worker can recover benefits regardless of who is at fault in an accident. However, in third party injury claims, it must be proven that someone was, indeed, at fault for causing an employee’s injuries and losses. If we consider just a few of the most common workplace accidents that result in injuries, we can see how third-party injury claims may well be justified:
- Falls – Many workers are seriously injured in falls from one level to another or in slip-and-fall accidents on the floor of the workplace. If a subcontractor was hired to erect scaffolding at a construction site, which in turn failed and caused a worker to suffer injuries, that subcontractor could be subjected to a third-party injury claim.
- Machinery malfunction – If a defective machine or equipment causes an employee to be injured, its manufacturer may ultimately be liable for the worker’s losses.
- Motor vehicle accidents – Accidents involving forklifts, pallet movers, scissor lifts and even work cars and trucks are common causes of work injuries. A worker hurt in a motor vehicle accident may hold the driver liable through a third-party injury claim.
- Objects falling onto workers – In new construction, floors, walls and other structures can collapse and injure workers. Those responsible for these structures, including architects or engineers, may be accountable for the structure’s failure.
Who Can Be Sued in a Third-Party Injury Claim?If your workplace injury was caused by the negligence of a party other than your employer or a co-worker, you may have a right to sue that person or entity in a third-party injury claim. A third party involved in a workplace injury might include a:
- Manufacturer or distributor of faulty or defective tools or equipment
- Subcontractor on a worksite who neglected safety procedures
- Property owner responsible for the general safety of a worksite or a property
- Driver of a vehicle involved in an accident that injured you.
What Can I Expect to Recover in a Third-Party Injury Claim?A third-party personal injury or wrongful death claim after a workplace accident typically would seek compensation for:
- Medical expenses
- Property damage
- Lost wages
- Pain and suffering
- Disfigurement and scarring
- Wrongful death (in a fatality)
- Punitive damages (if the defendant’s conduct was egregious).