What is a Third-Party Workers’ Compensation Claim?
All employers (other than domestic workers that earn less than $160 per calendar quarter and volunteers) in the state of Ohio must carry workers’ compensation insurance. Generally speaking, an injured worker covered by the Ohio workers’ compensation system is not allowed to sue their employer or coworker for negligence in causing a workplace injury. However, there are scenarios where an injured worker may file a lawsuit and seek a pain and suffering award from another party liable for having caused the accident. When this happens it is known as a negligent third-party workers’ compensation claim.
A negligence third-party claim requires you to show that:
- The person or entity owed you a duty of care
- This duty of care was breached
- As a result of the breach of duty of care, you sustained an injury
- Your injuries resulted in permanent damage.
Here’s an example: A driver for ABC transportation is struck by a reckless driver resulting in injuries. The driver has not only a workers’ compensation claim but also a claim against the reckless driver. While Ohio workers’ compensation is meant to pay for medical expenses and lost wages for those injured on the job, regardless of fault, under this circumstance, the driver has a right to pursue an action against the reckless driver for the permanent loss of function and pain caused by the accident.
What Are Some Examples of Negligent Third-Party Workers’ Compensation Claims?
Some examples of negligent third-party workers’ compensation claims include:
- Auto Accidents – If you are injured while driving for work from the negligence of another driver, you have the right to pursue a negligent third-party claim against the driver for having caused your injury.
- Construction Site Accidents – Construction companies very often use other contractors to perform separate parts of the construction. When your injury is caused by the negligence of an employee of another company on the site, you may have a negligent third-party claim against that company.
- Defective Product or Machinery – If your workplace accident was the result of a defective device or tool, you may have a third-party liability claim against the manufacturer of the device or tool in addition to your Ohio workers’ compensation claim. As an example, suppose a defective tool you are using for your job causes an electric shock, or the brakes on the loader you are driving malfunction, causing a serious accident with injuries.
- Toxic Substances – You can file a third-party claim against the manufacturer of a toxic substance that causes injury or illness. As an example, if your job requires you to use weed killer on a regular basis, but you later develop cancer as a result of chemicals in the weed killer, you could potentially file a third-party lawsuit against the manufacturer of the weed killer. Other noxious substances workers can be exposed to that are cancer-causing agents are: lead, chromium, formaldehyde, and vinyl chloride
How a Toledo Workers’ Comp Attorney Can Help
Attorneys who handle both Ohio workers’ compensation claims, as well as third-party negligence claims, are properly able to look at your case as a whole while not jeopardizing your interests in either claim. At Schaffer & Associates, we can handle your Ohio workers’ compensation claim as well as your negligent third-party claim. We have a combined 50 years of experience in this area; we are compassionate, dedicated, and professional. These qualities help you get the benefits you need and deserve. Contact Schaffer & Associates today for a comprehensive evaluation of your claim.