One of the most common questions asked by workers who have been injured on the job is, “Can I sue my employer?” The short answer is, “No, you probably can’t.” However, there may be other avenues for pursuing additional compensation such as filing a third-party liability claim.
At the law firm of Chatham Gilder Howell Pittman, our lawyers represent injured workers throughout North Mississippi. We can help handle all your workers’ compensation needs and determine whether any additional claims may be appropriate.
Workers’ Compensation: a Faultless System
The workers’ compensation system is designed so that one party cannot be assigned the blame for an accident that results in an injury. This helps protect workers because even if an accident would be considered to be the fault of the worker, he or she will still be eligible to receive workers’ comp benefits. However, this system also protects employers. If an accident can be blamed on the employer, the employer is only responsible for providing workers’ comp benefits and the employer cannot be sued for additional damages.
Workers’ compensation benefits are invaluable in the short term. It can help cover your immediate medical expenses and provide you with a source of income while you are recovering from your accident. However, these benefits do not account for any pain and suffering you have endured, and they may fall short if you require extended medical care and/or treatment for more catastrophic injuries. In these cases, it may be possible to seek additional compensation through third-party liability as well as disability benefits through Social Security.
What Is Third-Party Liability?
A third-party claim means that you can pursue damages for pain and suffering, which are not available under the workers’ compensation system. Workers’ compensation only applies to the relationship between employers and employees. It does not govern claims against third parties.
In essence, if you are hurt at work, workers’ comp will govern any claims you may have against your employer. However, if the accident was at least partially caused by someone not employed by your company or by a dangerous or defective product, you may be able to pursue a third-party liability claim.
Some typical examples of where a third-party liability claim may be warranted include:
- Car accidents that occur while performing a work-related activity
- Accidents caused by defective machinery or products, such as forklifts, power tools, and more
- Accidents caused by subcontractors on a construction site
- Dangerous conditions on off-site properties
- Dangerous products used in the workplace, such as asbestos
For more information about what you may be entitled to following a workplace accident, contact us to speak with one of our talented attorneys. There are no fees unless we recover compensation for you.
Chatham Gilder Howell Pittman helps those who might be eligible to file a third-party liability claim throughout Northern Mississippi including the cities of Southaven and Hernando as well as the counties of DeSoto, Marshall, Tate, and Tunica.