When an employee is injured in a workplace accident, he or she is generally entitled to workers’ compensation benefits from his or her employer regardless of who was at fault for the accident. In exchange for these benefits, injured employees are prohibited from suing their employer following the workplace accident.
Workers’ compensation laws do not prevent the injured employee from pursuing legal action against any other third parties that may be responsible for the work-related injuries. For instance, if an employee is injured in an auto accident while on the job, he or she may be able entitled to additional compensation from the negligent motorist who caused the auto accident.
Third-party actions can apply to a number of situations, but they commonly arise in the following accidents:
- Motor Vehicle Accidents: For delivery drivers and truckers, driving is the primary work function. If an employee is injured in a motor vehicle accident while driving for work, he or she may have a personal injury cause of action against the negligent motorist responsible for the auto accident.
- Construction Worker Accidents: Construction worksites are inherently dangerous. If a construction worker is injured as a result of defective machinery or equipment, he or she might have a product liability claim against the manufacturer of the defective equipment. Further, general contractors are responsible for maintaining a safe work environment and injured subcontractors may have a legal claim against the general contractor if the workplace accident was caused by the general contractor’s negligence.
- Factory Accidents: Like injured construction workers, injured factory workers may also have a product liability claim against a manufacturer if the injury was caused by defective machinery or equipment.
- Medical Malpractice: In some situations, an employee’s injuries are exacerbated by the negligence of a doctor or hospital. In these cases, the injured employee may have a medical malpractice claim against the negligent doctor or hospital.
- Slip and Fall Accidents: If an employee is injured on the property of another person during the scope of employment, the property owner or manager may be liable for the resulting injuries in a premises liability lawsuit if he or she failed to properly maintain the premises.
Because there are legal limits on the amount that injured employees can receive in workers’ compensation benefits, you may wish to pursue applicable third party causes of action, as well. At Ankin Law Office, LLC, our Chicago workplace accident attorneys have considerable experience representing injured employees with both their workers’ compensation claims and any other third-party actions in order to get them the maximum recovery possible.
If you have been injured in a workplace accident, do not hesitate to contact our Chicago workplace accident attorneys at (312) 600-0000 to discuss pursuing a third-party action in addition to your worker’s compensation claim.