If you were injured in an accident on the job or became ill due to workplace conditions, you might be aware that you could be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits under Colorado law. These benefits often include medical treatment and a portion of missed wages during your recovery.
What options do you have if your workers’ compensation will not cover all your lost wages or compensate you for your pain and suffering?
If the accident was due to negligence on the part of a contractor, property owner, or someone else who was not your employer or a fellow employee, you could potentially seek compensation through a third-party personal injury claim. A settlement or lawsuit could provide additional money on top of the benefits you receive from your employer’s workers’ comp policy.
If you were injured in a workplace accident, turn to the experienced Colorado third-party lawsuit attorneys at the Olson Law Firm, LLC, for help. Our team is ready to evaluate your situation during a free consultation and advise you of your legal options. Get in touch with us now.
What Is a Third-Party Workplace Injury Lawsuit?
A third-party injury claim arises when someone other than an employer plays a role or shares responsibility for an accident that injures an employee.
These claims can be vital for workers injured in accidents on the job because workers’ compensation benefits are limited. While an injured worker could receive payment for all the medical care they require, they will typically be able to recover up to only two-thirds of their average weekly pay. They also won’t be able to recover compensation for the pain, suffering, and mental anguish they’ve suffered.
If negligence on the part of a non-employer third party caused or contributed to the accident, however, the injured worker might have additional options for recovering compensation. Through a third-party injury claim or lawsuit, they could hold the at-fault party accountable and recover more than what workers’ comp would provide.
Who Can Be Considered a Third Party?
Some individuals or entities that could be held accountable through a third-party injury claim include:
- An employee of another company working in your area
- Another company with employees working in your area
- The manufacturer of a product, tool, or machine that impacted or caused your injury
- A negligent motorist
- A negligent property owner
Under What Circumstances Are Third-Party Claims Brought?
Under the workers’ compensation system, an employer’s workers’ compensation policy will pay for medical treatment and a percentage of the employee’s lost wages when an employee is injured while working for the employer. It is not relevant whether the employer or employee did something wrong or failed to do something.
On the other hand, a third-party lawsuit claim will depend on proving that the third-party was negligent. If a defective product injured a worker, the injured worker might have a strict liability claim against the manufacturer even if it did not act negligently.
Determining whether a third party acted negligently can be a complicated question, as can establishing whether a product was defective. Looking at the facts of a particular case and making these determinations requires the use of skilled third-party claim lawsuit attorneys.
Multi-employer construction sites often lead to accidents caused by third parties. Examples of situations on construction sites that could lead to third-party claims include:
- An employee of one company is injured due to a faulty scaffold that a scaffolding contractor supposedly inspected.
- A mobile equipment operator from one contractor injures an employee of another contractor.
- An employee from one company drops a tool onto an employee of another company working below.
- A confined space gas monitor fails to alert confined space entrants that oxygen levels are low.
- An employee is injured by a machine he uses while working at a paper mill or wood products facility.
- A truck driver is making a delivery to a facility and crashes into a worker.
Fighting For Compensation from Negligent Third Parties
The workers’ compensation insurance company might file a third-party claim lawsuit against an employee of another company, or against the manufacturer of a machine or tool that caused or contributed to the injury. This process is called subrogation.
However, the third-party settlement they seek will be to reduce their costs rather than help compensate you, the injured worker. If you have been injured and a third party contributed to or caused your injury, you cannot rely on the workers’ compensation or other insurance company to ensure you are made whole. You should hire an injury attorney with experience handling third-party claims to fight for your interests.
Filing a Successful Third-Party Claim
A successful third-party lawsuit or third-party settlement will depend heavily on the facts of each case. Unfortunately, eyewitness memories sometimes fade, and accident scenes might be cleaned up or altered over time. Gathering facts is extremely important, especially in the early stages of the accident.
Once the evidence has been secured, your attorney can build the strongest possible case on your behalf and will seek compensation through a settlement or lawsuit.
The Denver workplace injury attorneys at the Olson Law Firm know that time is of the essence when seeking compensation for injured workers through a third-party claim. We know the right questions to ask at all stages of the post-accident investigation. Because we offer free case reviews, it won’t cost you anything to see if we can help you with your case.
Get Help from a Denver Third-Party Workplace Injury Attorney
At the Olson Law Firm, we are Serious Lawyers for Serious Cases. When you meet with us to discuss your situation, we will listen closely to the details of your case. We know that it can be overwhelming to try to handle a third-party lawsuit claim on your own, especially while juggling lost wages, medical bills, and the emotional trauma that could accompany injuries caused by a negligent third party. We are here to take on that burden for you so you can focus on your health and your life.
Contact us today for your free consultation.