When an accident occurs at work, most workers understand that they have the right to seek workers' compensation benefits from their employer. However, many injured workers are unaware that they may also have a right to bring a lawsuit against people other than their employer who may have been negligent in causing their work injury. Known as third-party claims, these lawsuits help to ensure that injured employees receive full compensation for their injuries.
When an employee is hurt at work, it is important that they seek the assistance of a Georgia workers' compensation attorney to ensure all at-fault parties are held accountable. Often, third-party liability cannot be established without a full investigation on part of the injured worker's legal team. If you or a loved one has been hurt on the job, contact our attorneys today to find out if you can file a third-party claim.
In regard to on-the-job injuries, third party liability arises when a workplace accident occurs due to the negligence of an individual or entity separate from the workers' employer. For instance, if a worker suffers a back injury after slipping and falling on a wet floor, they can seek workers' compensation benefits. If the floors were left wet by a cleaning company who failed to put up signs indicating a slippery surface, the cleaning service may also be held accountable for the injury.
Third party claims are also common on construction sites, where a number of individuals, including subcontractors, are responsible for the premises. For instance, if a worker is injured in a scaffold collapse, they may be able to bring a claim against the scaffolding company. In these third party claims, it is typically alleged that the company failed to properly erect the scaffold in a proper manner, and it therefore collapsed as a result.
Georgia's exclusive remedy law protects employers from being sued by their employees. An employee cannot file a claim for workers' compensation and subsequently file a personal injury suit against the same employer. This law was enacted so that injured employees only have one way to recover compensation for their injuries, which is through the employer's workers' compensation insurance. In exchange for the exclusive remedy law, employers must provide workers' compensation insurance, even if the victim causes his or her own work injury.
A skilled workers' compensation lawyer will make sure all of a claimant's injury, medical treatment, and income information is filed properly. Secondly, an attorney will handle any conflict that arises once this information is filed. Negotiations, courtroom litigation and all interactions with the injured worker's employer should be mediated by the attorney.
At Morgan and Morgan, our workers' compensation lawyers will see that injured employees are justly and fully compensated for their injuries. Although workers' compensation laws are designed to protect and help employee and employer alike, it is not uncommon that an injured worker may feel that they are not receiving full compensation for their losses. Pursuing a third party claim in addition to workers' compensation benefits can further complicate matters.
If you or a loved one was hurt at work, our attorneys can advise you on what steps to take to recover compensation for your workplace injury. Fill out our free case review form today and our firm will evaluate your claim - at no cost to you.