Third Party Liability

What is a third party?

In a work-related injury, the third party is anyone other than the employer or co-worker. It could be another individual, another company, a manufacturer, the state, a municipality or a school district — anyone who, due to negligence, may have played a role in the work-related injury or illness.

What is third-party liability?

Third-party liability occurs when an injured worker or someone who has a job-related illness makes a claim against someone other than their employer (the third party) for monetary damages.

What is the difference between Workers’ Compensation and a personal injury/third-party liability case?

When you get hurt at work or are the victim of an occupational disease, you are usually covered by Workers’ Compensation which compensates you for medical costs and some lost wages. However, Worker’s Compensation does not cover you for longer-term losses of income, for permanent medical conditions, or for ongoing losses of income from the effects of a workplace accident or illness.

In these situations, injured workers or, in the case of wrongful death, their surviving families, may have the right to bring a third-party liability case against the maker of a defective product or against another negligent party. Any awards received in such third-party liability, wrongful death, or product liability cases are over and above the Workers’ Compensation benefits. You can’t sue your employer if they are a Workers’ Compensation carrier, but in certain circumstances you can sue a third party for additional damages.

If I’m an injured worker receiving Workers’ Compensation benefits, can I still receive monetary damages from a third party?

Yes, an injured or sick worker who is receiving Workers’ Compensation benefits can bring a claim against a third party for pain and suffering, for loss of life or decreased enjoyment of life, for the permanency of the illness, or for injury received at the workplace.

What is the process for making a third-party claim?

The process is the same for anyone who brings a lawsuit in New York State. To file a lawsuit, a claimant’s representative would go through the normal discovery process. Sometimes the case is settled in this phase or it may continue on to a trial. The important thing to keep in mind is that an ongoing Workers’ Compensation claim by the claimant in a third-party case adds a twist to the proceedings, because the Workers’ Compensation carrier has a certain interest in the case as does the injured party.

Do I need an attorney for third-party liability?

When you are bringing a third-party/personal injury case, it is important to be aware of the relationship of the third-party claim to any Workers’ Compensation claim with which you are involved. These complexities can be handled best by one of our experienced BMCQ attorneys. Call BMCQ 866.979.BMCQ (2627) for a FREE consultation.

What is the best thing to do if I think I have a third-party liability claim?

If you are receiving Workers’ Compensation, you should talk to the attorney who is handling your Workers’ Compensation case. At BMCQ, we review every Workers’ Compensation file to determine if there is a possible third-party liability action by finding out as much as we can about how our client was injured or became sick. Through that review process we are able to identify potential third parties and proceed accordingly. Call BMCQ 866.979.BMCQ (2627) for a FREE consultation.

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