If you have been hurt on the job, you may have been told that you have no right to seek compensation for your injuries and losses except through a workers’ compensation claim. However, there are often third parties — product manufacturers, vendors, suppliers, clients, contractors, subcontractors, etc. — who are responsible for your injuries. If that is the case, you may be able to bring a personal injury claim against that company. In cases such as this, it’s important to move quickly, as evidence is often lost and witnesses’ memories fade quickly.
For example, if a defective product you were using at work caused your injury, you may have the right to make a product liability claim. These personal injury claims against responsible parties other than your employer are called “third-party claims.” Compensation you obtain through a third-party personal injury claim is in addition to any benefits you may receive through workers’ compensation.
In today’s fast-paced economy, a great deal of work is contracted to outside vendors, including maintenance, delivery — even office jobs. Many people perform their work on premises other than their employers. General construction contractors may hire a number of different subcontractors, any of whose negligence could injure an employee of another company.
Typical examples of accidents that could involve third-party claims include:
- A factory worker is injured when a third-party vendor operating a forklift at the job site drops a stack of boxes that were poorly loaded
- A delivery driver falls on a negligently maintained staircase at an office building where she is delivering a package
- An office temp is hurt when boxes fall from a high shelf because they weren’t stored properly
- An auto mechanic is hurt by a faulty air compressor