Workers’ comp was instituted to help injured workers while protecting employers from lawsuits. If you are injured in the factory where you work, you can’t sue your employer. You have to use the workers’ comp system.
But there is a loophole. While you can’t sue your employer, you may sue another company that was negligent and helped cause the accident and injury. This is called a third-party lawsuit.
Let’s say you are a carpenter working at a shopping center construction site. A cement truck, owned by a separate subcontractor, runs over your foot. You now have two avenues open to you. You can file a workers’ comp claim through your company, and you can file a suit against the cement supplier.
Because lawsuits give you greater leverage than workers’ comp restrictions, you may obtain twice or three times the total compensation — or even more. And you can still file for workers’ comp.
Third-party lawsuits don’t work in every situation. There must be a party that is not your employer, whose negligence contributed to your injury.
Examples of third-party lawsuits:
- A defective power tool explodes in your hands. You can target the maker of the tool or the company that services it.
- Your employer leases the company parking lot. You slip on the ice and crack your skull. The company that owns and maintains the lot may be held accountable.
- Delivering good for your employer, you are involved in a collision with a plumber’s truck.
- Your company’s security firm improperly manhandles you.
- You are injured on the job and your medical provider botches the treatment.
Always looking for the best outcome for clients, the attorneys at Bashein & Bashein Company, L.P.A., pioneered in developing third-party lawsuits from its earliest days. Today we are one of the most respected and most successful third-party work injury law firms in northeast Ohio.