Anyone who has ever received a papercut or burnt their tongue on hot coffee knows that accidents happen at work. Workers’ compensation exists to cover these types of accidents, no matter how severe. The only caveat of workers’ comp. is that it’s a type of no-fault insurance. Sometimes, however, a work accident is someone’s fault. While you usually can’t sue your employer for a worker’s comp. claim, you can hold a third party liable.
For example, if your boss brought you a coffee from the shop down the road that was scalding hot and did not have a warning label, you might be able to collect workers’ compensation and sue the coffee shop, like Stella Liebeck did with McDonalds in 1992.
What if I Don’t Have Workers’ Comp.?
Some situations or types of jobs don’t include workers’ compensation, or workers’ compensation may be too limited to account for your accident. Whatever the situation, if someone else was negligent, you may be eligible to file a third party injury lawsuit. Let’s take a step-by-step look at a couple examples.
- Imagine you were working a freelance job for a client at a coworking space. You sit down on a chair, it collapses, and you break your ankle. Clearly, the client is not going to cover you under worker’s comp., but the accident still wasn’t your fault. Did the coworking space build a chair from IKEA and forget a screw? If you can prove their negligence, you may have a case. If the chair was defective, the manufacturer may have to accept product liability. No matter the situation, in third party claims, the burden of proof is on whoever initiates the lawsuit. For this reason, you’re going to need the right lawyers.
- Another scenario you could face is a car accident. Maybe you are running an errand for work and someone turns left in front of you. If you are unable to stop and sustain an injury as a result, workers’ comp. may cover your medical expenses and some of your missed wages, but it won’t account for the fact that you’re terrified to get in a car again. If your accident is especially severe, workers’ compensation won’t be enough. In Georgia, this insurance only covers medical expenses, lost earnings, and rehabilitative costs. Because accidents also include pain, suffering and emotional distress, you may need to make a claim against a third party, such as the driver or their insurance company.
Can I File a Third-Party Injury Claim?
If you sustained injures from a motor vehicle accident, defective products, malfunctioning machinery or equipment, or toxic exposure at work; you are likely entitled to third party compensation. The best way to find out if you have a case is to schedule a free initial consultation with our attorneys in Atlanta. Whiteman, Hamilton & Conklin, LLC will fight for you. Don’t hesitate to call us at (404) 800-4661 or submit an online form today.