There are potentially three parties that could be involved in a Texas work injury claim. These parties include the:
- First party. This is you.
- Second party. This includes your employer and by extension your employer’s other employees.
- Third party. Anyone else is considered a third party.
If you, your employer, or another employee was not responsible for your work injury, then it is important to consider whether a third party may be liable. When you are hurt by a third party while at work or while performing a work-related activity, you may have a third-party work injury claim.
How Third-Party Injury Claims Happen
Any time a third party causes your job-related injury, you may have a third-party claim. Some common examples of third-party job injury claims include:
- Motor vehicle accidents when the at-fault driver is not employed by your employer. If you are driving for work and you are involved in an accident that is caused by another driver who does not work for your employer, then you could have a third-party claim.
- Multiple contractors working on the same site and an injury being caused by someone who works for someone other than employer. If, for example, a roofer and an electrician are working on the same construction site but are employed by different companies, then the roofer could have a third-party claim if he is hurt by the electrician or the electrician could have a third-party claim if he is hurt by the roofer.
- Faulty equipment that was built or maintained by someone other than your employer. If the crane, the truck, the forklift, or another piece of equipment that you are using causes an accident and your injury because of faulty manufacturing or maintenance then you could have a third-party claim.
Of course, this list is not all inclusive and other types of third-party injury claims may arise. However you are hurt by a third party, you need to know how to protect your recovery.
What You May Recover in a Third-Party Injury Claim
Third-party work injury claims are different from workers’ compensation cases. In a third-party work injury claim, you may be able to recover for:
- All of your past, current, and future medical care related to your injuries. You may be able to select your medical providers.
- All of your past, current, and future lost income related to your injuries. This includes wages, benefits, bonuses and any other income that you are unable to earn because of your injuries.
- Physical pain and emotional suffering. These may be among your most significant damages.
- Loss of enjoyment of life and the things that you did before you were hurt. Keep detailed lists of everything that you are missing because of your injuries.
- Any damage to your own property. For example, if you were driving your own car for a work-related reason at the time of a crash then you may recover for the damage to your vehicle.
As with all types of personal injury claims, you will have to convince an insurance company or the court of the at-fault person’s liability and of the value of your injuries in order to make a recovery. Specifically, you will need to prove that:
- The third party owed you a duty of care.
- The third party breached that duty of care.
- You were hurt because of the third party’s breach of the duty of care.
- You have the right to seek damages for your injuries in court.
Your recovery is not automatic; instead, you have to fight for it.
How to Protect Your Right to a Fair Recovery in a Third-Party Injury Claim
While you pursue a third-party injury claim, it is important to remember that you may still be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits from the same incident. It is important to pursue all potential claims to make the fullest and fairest recovery possible.
For this reason and others, third-party work injury claims can be complex, and it is important to work with an experienced workers’ compensation lawyer to help you get the benefits that you deserve. To find out more, please browse the resources on our website and call us today to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation.