request a free consultation

What Is Third-Party Liability?

Posted in Workplace Injuries on February 12, 2018

Receiving compensation for your injuries after an injury on the job may simply require reporting the accident to your employer and immediately seeking medical treatment. This procedure doesn’t always award you with adequate financial support or address issues of third-party liability in your accident. In Dallas, the attorneys of Aaron A. Herbert, P.C., have the experience to evaluate when your claim may involve third-party liability and the expertise to pursue a claim so you can receive your due compensation.

Workers’ Compensation Claims

The most typical third-party liability claims result from complex workers’ compensation cases. In a typical workers’ compensation claim, there is no need to determine or establish who was at fault in the accident. Even if you were primarily responsible for the accident that resulted in your injury, worker’s compensation will provide for medical expenses and missed wages due to lost time at work.

Insurers call these no-fault claims because they pay the claim regardless of fault in the accident. The advantage to the worker is that he or she receives money from their claims faster. An insurer won’t deny a claim simply because the worker may have been responsible for contributing to his or her own injury. There are drawbacks, though. There are limits to the amount of compensation most workers’ compensation policies pay. In many cases, your injury-related expenses may exceed what you are able to receive from workers’ compensation, or you may have been able to receive more if you were to pursue compensation through more traditional personal injury cases.

Employers in Texas may opt to forego purchasing workers’ compensation insurance. In these cases, the damages you can claim are greater, but you must prove fault in a claim in order to collect compensation. Even in such cases, you may not be able to collect the total amount of damages a labile party owes you if the business is small or does not have the resources to pay for an expensive claim.

What Is a Third-Party Liability Claim?

There two parties in an ordinary workers’ compensation claim: the employee and the employer. The workers’ compensation insurance steps in to cover the expenses for the employer. However, in some cases, there may be someone else responsible for the accident unrelated to the employer or employee. This is when a third-party claim may arise.

In a third-party liability claim, the injured employee may pursue compensation from the third party that was responsible for the accident and injury. For example, if you are driving for your job and suffer an injury in a car accident that a driver caused when he or she ran a red light, you qualify for workers’ compensation. You also may be able to seek compensation from the at-fault driver. Other examples include injuries someone suffers as a result of defective equipment, in which the manufacturer might be the third party, or an injury suffered on the premises of another business you were visiting for work.

Why Pursue a Third-Party Liability Claim?

Worker’s compensation insurance typically pays only economic damages. That is, the policy covers medical expenses, lost wages, and costs for rehabilitation to return to work, but no other compensation. If a third party was responsible for your injury, you may pursue compensation for pain and suffering, and even mental and emotional distress suffered as a result of the injury. You may pursue damages owing to disfigurement if you have sustained substantial scarring or other unsightly reminders of your injury.

Third-party liability claims require proof the third party was at fault in causing your injury. Even if you were partially responsible for causing the accident, you still may be able to claim compensation for your injuries.