If you have been injured on-the-job, your employer may have told you that the only way you can receive compensation for your injury is by filing a Workers’ Compensation claim. Although generally this is true, there are situations where an injured worker can file a personal injury claim as well, resulting in a greater damages award. An experienced Atlantic City personal injury lawyer can explain your options and suggest the best course of action.
Third-Party Liability Claims
Sometimes when a person is injured in a construction accident, it was caused by a third-party – such as another individual or the manufacturer of heavy machinery. In such cases, the injured worker can bring a personal injury claim against the third-party, instead of filing for Workers’ Compensation benefits.
Some common examples of third-party liability include:
- Manufacturers, distributors, or retailers of defective construction equipment. You may be able to bring a product liability action against any one of these entities. To prove your case, you must demonstrate that the manufacturer knew the equipment was dangerous, yet failed to properly warn users of the risk.
- Supervisors that are not your employer, but may function in a supervisory role. For example: an engineer, architect, project manager, or designer.
- Drivers who travel into a construction site or collide with construction equipment, causing injury.
- Intentional misconduct of a third party. For example: if he or she hits you or strikes you, or tampers with your equipment to cause you harm.
- Public utility providers. If you are working on a site, and strike an electrical or gas line, the public utility entity responsible for maintaining and identifying the location of those lines may be held liable.
- Outside vendors. If your injury was caused by a negligent or reckless subcontractor, you may be able to file a third-party personal injury claim.
- Chemical manufacturers. It is not uncommon for construction workers to be injured by toxic substances. In such cases, one can file a toxic tort lawsuit against the company who manufactured the dangerous chemical. Some of these dangerous toxins include benzene, asbestos, silica, chromium, and radium. Regardless of whether you suffered a chemical burn, have been diagnosed with cancer or lung disease as a result of your occupational exposure, you may still be able to recover damages through a personal injury lawsuit.
If you have been injured on-the-job and are already receiving Workers’ Compensation benefits, in some cases it is not too late to file a personal injury lawsuit against a third-party.
However, if you receive a monetary award at trial, or if you settle your case with the third-party, your employer’s Workers’ Compensation carrier will likely make a subrogation claim, reducing the award that you received in your third-party personal injury suit.
If you have filed for Workers’ Compensation and believe that you may have a third-party claim, it is important to contact an experienced Atlantic City personal injury lawyer as soon as possible to preserve your rights.
Lawsuits filed outside of the Workers’ Compensation system often yield greater damage awards. In part, this is because an injured victim may be entitled to punitive damages. These are very high damages awarded with the intent to punish employers for having poor safety controls, or allowing for hazardous conditions to exist.
Atlantic City Personal Injury Lawyers at D’Amato Law Firm Hold Negligent Third Parties Accountable
The experienced Atlantic City personal injury lawyers at D’Amato Law Firm provide free, no-obligation consultations. Call us today at 609-926-3300 or contact us online. We proudly serve clients throughout southern New Jersey, including Atlantic County, Cape May County, Cumberland County, Gloucester County, Burlington County, Salem County, Camden County, and Ocean County.