If you suffered a construction site injury, and another person was to blame for causing it, then you can file what’s known as a third party lawsuit against the responsible party. You can even file this suit if you’ve filed a workers’ compensation claim with Washington’s Department of Labor & Industries. Contact our skilled construction site attorneys now to get all your questions answered.
What’s a Third-Party Claim?
Sometimes workers get hurt by people that the law refer to as a third parties. For example, consider the situation where a construction worker is traveling to a construction site. If the worker gets hit and injured by another motorist, and the motorist caused the accident, the motorist is considered a liable third party.
In this scenario, the construction worker can file a lawsuit against the third party. The suit is known as a “third party claim” or a “third party lawsuit.” Workers can file third party suits against co-workers and any other person that contributed to a construction site injury. To succeed in the case, the worker would have to prove that the third party was negligent in causing an accident. Negligence means that someone failed to act as a reasonable person would under the circumstances.
Please note that a construction worker can file a third-party claim in addition to filing a workers’ comp claim with the L&I Department. Please note, though, that if a worker is receiving L&I benefits, and then succeeds on a third-party claim, the insurance company handling the workers’ comp claim can file a lien against the court award in the lawsuit. The company can do this to recover some of the money that it paid to the injured worker.
What’s the Benefit of a Third-Party Claim?
The main advantage to a third-party lawsuit is that you can receive additional compensation that is not available with an L&I claim. Typically, with a workers’ comp claim, you’ll receive compensation for:
- Medical expenses
- Lost wages
- Vocational training
But with a third-party claim, you may receive compensation for:
- Medical expenses
- Lost wages
- Future lost earnings
- Property damage
- Out-of-pocket expenses
- Pain and suffering
These additional categories of reimbursement and payment can make a sizable difference in the value of your case.
What is a Disadvantage with a Third-Party Claim?
The main con of filing a third-party lawsuit is that, to succeed, you’ll have to show that another person was negligent. This requires finding and building evidence to help support your case. The process can take time and be quite costly depending on the severity of your injury.
In contrast, workers’ compensation is a no-fault program. Injured workers don’t have to prove that anyone caused or contributed to their injury. All they have to show is that they were injured while at work and in the course and scope of their employment.
Contact Otorowski Morrow & Golden, PLLC
Please know that our firm is here to help if you’ve suffered a construction site injury. We can file an L&I claim or a third-party claim on your behalf. Otorowski Morrow & Golden, PLLC provides free consultations to all our potential clients. Further, the attorneys at our law firm have over 120 years of combined experience representing injured parties and helping them file lawsuits to get the compensation they deserve. Do yourself a favor and contact them now for the quality legal assistance you deserve.