When Worker’s Comp Isn’t Enough: Third-Party Claims
When a worker is injured on the job, most know that they’re entitled to some form of worker’s compensation from their employer. Worker’s comp (as it is commonly known) is a state-mandated insurance program. When an employee suffers a job-related injury or illness, they are entitled to compensation regardless of who was at fault. The at-fault party may include you, the employee, the employer, a customer, a co-worker or a third party.
Worker’s compensation laws vary from state to state. In general, you exchange your right to sue your employer for damages in return for guaranteed worker’s compensation benefits. The law in Georgia stipulates an “exclusive remedy” to protect employers from being sued by their employees.
If you’re injured on the job in Georgia, you cannot file both a workers’ compensation claim and a personal injury suit against the same employer. Thus, your only remedy is what you receive through workers’ compensation.
However, in some cases, as mentioned above a negligent third party may be responsible for your injuries. Making a determination of whether a third party is responsible for you injuries often requires creative thinking from an experienced attorney. Therefore, if you or a loved one has suffered a serious workplace injury you should ask your worker’s comp attorney whether a liability attorney should take a look at the case.
The most common third-party claims include work-related vehicle accidents and injuries that occur on someone else’s property and on construction sites or a product liability claim — where your employer purchased a defective product from a manufacturer.
If you’ve suffered an injury on the job, you and your family should focus on recovery and contact a lawyer as soon as possible. As we’ve said before, evidence may go missing or be harder to obtain after a delay. Hiring a good attorney ensures your case gets the attention it deserves and that all evidence is catalogued quickly and is kept safe.
Third-party claims may also involve multiple companies or individuals. The legal process can become confusing and complex. After you suffer an injury, make sure you hire an experienced lawyer at a reputable firm. You can read more and view a video on how to hire legal representative here.
– Alwyn Fredericks