What to know about third-party work injury claims

| Feb 10, 2021 | Blog, Personal Injury |

Injured workers in Pittsburg, Pennsylvania, may file a worker’s compensation claim for work-related injuries without having to prove fault. Worker’s comp relieves employers from getting sued by an employee, but it doesn’t pay full wages or pain and suffering. In some cases, the worker could bring a lawsuit against a third party responsible for their injuries.

Basics of third-party claim injuries

Third-party lawsuits involve bringing a civil case against another person or company outside the employer. A third-party lawsuit allows the injured worker to recover full damages, including future lost wages and service replacement.

A number of parties could be responsible in a third-party injury including other contractors, drivers, property owners, commercial firms and product manufacturers. For example, if an employee slips on ice or snow during an assignment on a property not owned by their employer, they could bring a lawsuit against the property owner. Other common causes of third-party injury arise from driving as part of the job, toxic substances and defective products.

Proving the case

The plaintiff has the burden of proof to establish a valid claim against a third party. They must prove the party had a duty of care to them and that they breached this duty, causing injuries. For example, if a property owner knew that workers would be coming and failed to remove snow, they may be liable for injuries. However, the plaintiff would need to prove that the owner knew about the condition in a reasonable amount of time and failed to remove it.

Pennsylvania uses the comparative fault law, meaning that the plaintiff may have an award reduced if they share some of the blame. The court bases damages on the percentage of fault determined by the jury. For example, if the plaintiff seeks $50,000 and the jury find them 10% at fault, they would get $45,000.

Injured workers can win damages from third-party on-the-job injuries and still draw worker’s compensation. They may be able to also sue an employer who doesn’t have worker’s compensation. Injured workers should consider hiring legal help to evaluate their options.

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