Was there more than one party involved in your on-the-job accident? Most workers often assume that their employer's workers' compensation insurance is their only option for monetary compensation after a workplace injury. This is not necessarily true.
Suppose the responsibility for your workplace injuries is the fault of a third party. In that case, you could file a third-party injury claim to seek damages from that entity or person while still retaining your rights to workers' compensation.
To fully understand all of your rights, you'll want to talk to Morris & Dewett Injury Lawyers. If you already have a workers' compensation lawyer involved, we can team up to explore the possibility of a third-party claim and fight vigilantly to get the maximum recovery you deserve.
At Morris & Dewett Injury Lawyers, we have decades of experience representing injured workers, educating them on their rights, and fighting for their interests. Our personal injury attorneys in Louisiana and Texas are skilled trial attorneys and have successfully pursued claims against third parties. We also work with new lawyers and other law firms consistently to ensure their clients get full and fair compensation.
Get in touch with Morris & Dewett Injury Lawyers to set up a free meeting with the lawyers you deserve.
Workplace Third-Party Injuries
What is a third-party workplace injury? Any harm brought on by a party other than the employer is considered a third-party injury. For instance, if you are at work and get injured while using defective work machinery or you get involved in a truck accident caused by defective tires, your injuries are attributed to the manufacturer's defective equipment, making them potentially liable for damages.
Texas law, Sec. 417.001, and Louisiana law both allow injured workers to bring their cases directly against third parties whose negligence resulted in injuries.
Examples of Typical Third-Party Injury Claims
In most cases, workers' compensation covers basic injuries sustained at work. This is not always the case since, in specific scenarios, an injured worker may qualify to file a third-party injury claim against an at-fault party for their workplace injury. Here are examples of typical third-party injury claims:
Product liability third-party injury claims usually occur when an employee gets an on-the-job injury due to a defective product they were using. A defective product can injure you due to a design defect, a manufacturing defect, or inadequate warnings about incorrect use or possible dangers.
If a worker is injured on the job in Texas or Louisiana due to a defective product, they may qualify for workers' compensation and still have the option to bring a lawsuit against the defective product's manufacturer. Morris & Dewett Injury Lawyers have helped injured workers win claims against third parties for product liability, and they can help you if you are in a similar situation.
Auto accidents are a leading cause of accidents and can sometimes be fatal. Third-party liability in an auto accident occurs when another driver hits an employee who is making a delivery or running a work errand. In this case, the injured worker or the employer's insurance company can file a claim for damages with the other driver's insurance company or file a personal injury lawsuit.
Morris & Dewett Injury Lawyers will review your auto accident case and establish whether you can file a third-party claim against the other driver's insurance and pursue a workers' compensation claim for your injuries.
Uninsured Motorist Implications in Third-Party Auto Injury Claims
What happens when you get hurt in a car crash caused by an uninsured driver while engaging in activities within the scope of your employment?
Uninsured motorist (UM) insurance companies or carriers are not considered third parties in workers' compensation claims. When an employee is injured in an auto accident while conducting their scope of work and the other party is an uninsured motorist, they are not entitled to recover from a UM carrier providing coverage to them or their employer. However, several factors determine if your employer or their workers' compensation insurer may be eligible for reimbursement from the UM carrier, including:
- Whether the uninsured motorist policy excludes the repayment of workers' compensation benefits
- If the employee paid premiums for the uninsured motorist coverage
Premises liability third-party claims can be tricky to navigate. Third-party premises liability claims commonly happen when an employee of a particular company sustains an injury on the residence or property of a different company. For instance, this can happen if your job has taken you on a home visit, site visit, or meeting at a different location or office that your employer does not own.
You may be able to sue the premise owner or their insurer if you are injured on their property due to their negligence. Our highly experienced attorneys can help you file a lawsuit against the company that caused the conditions that contributed to your on-the-job injury on another company's premises.
Industrial and Construction Worksites
Industrial and construction worksites usually raise different issues than typical workplaces since individuals work in dangerous conditions. The general contractor — who may not be your employer — is typically responsible for workers' safety on the site. If you are injured on the job at an industrial or construction site and work for a subcontractor who does not manage or own the site, you should consider filing a lawsuit against the company.
Lawsuits against your employer and a third party are usually challenging, especially when you have no legal guidance and are not knowledgeable about the law or your rights. Third-party liability lawsuits are a difficult area of workers' compensation law. To navigate them, you must be familiar with the case laws and statutes governing your state's workers' compensation laws. If you believe that more than one party is responsible for your work injuries, Morris & Dewett Injury Lawyers can review your case to determine the party that caused your accident and ensure they pay full damages.
Limitations on the Employee's, Employer's, or Insurer's Right to Reimbursement in Third-Party Injury Claims
According to Texas and Louisiana statutes, injured employees can file a third-party injury claim, but there are limitations to their right to recovery. For instance, if they win a third-party lawsuit, they must repay the insurance company that paid their workers' compensation benefits the amount they received. On the other hand, the employer and their insurer cannot recover their lawyers' fees and costs.
Workers' compensation and subrogation rights can work differently in third-party injury claims. Subrogation is the legal procedure that allows an entity or individual to file a claim against another party to recover the benefits they have already paid. So, while injured workers can file for workers' compensation and third-party injury claims, they cannot recover the same damages twice.
The employer and their insurer can intervene in the third-party lawsuit to recover what they paid the injured employee in workers' compensation benefits. The employee will only receive the excess of the recovered damages from the third-party lawsuit. The only exception is when there is a waiver of subrogation.
After recovery, insurers should:
- Pay themselves and pay costs from the recovered amount
- Pay the rest of the recovered amount to the injured worker or a legal beneficiary
A waiver of subrogation relinquishes one's rights to subrogation. In general, it prohibits the insurer from recovering compensation from the liable third party and from recovering from the injured worker's settlement proceeds they receive from a third-party claim.
Effect of Employee and Employer Fault in Third-Party Job Injury Claims
Effect of the Employee's Fault
An employer's recovery or that of their insurer equals the employee's recovery in percentage. If a worker's recovery is reduced due to comparative negligence, their employer's or insurer's recovery is reduced by an equal percentage.
Effect of the Employer Fault
The fault of an employer in a third-party injury claim will be assessed as a percentage of the total fault of everyone contributing to or causing the worker's injury. The assessed fault will not be reallocated to any other party or individual, and the employer's or insurer's recovery will be reduced by the percentage of the assessed fault.
Morris & Dewett Injury Lawyers Will Handle All Aspects of Your Third-Party Injury Claim
Work injuries should be taken seriously since the effects of these injuries can substantially alter your life. At Morris & Dewett Injury Lawyers, we assist people who have been hurt on the job in recovering what they rightfully deserve when workers' compensation is insufficient to cover their financial needs.
Our proven track record of success in winning third-party workplace injury claims confirms that our attorneys have the experience and necessary skills to help you build an airtight case going beyond workers' compensation.
Are you convinced that a third party is responsible for your injuries? You may be eligible to recover monetary damages beyond workers' compensation benefits in Louisiana and Texas. Our attorneys have decades of combined experience representing injured workers and have the resources, knowledge, and investigative skills to help you accurately establish what caused your accident and fight for the justice you deserve.
Texas Workers' Compensation Act. Texas Constitution and Statutes. Accessed on Mar. 29, 2023.
Proportionate Responsibility. Texas Constitution and Statutes. Accessed on Mar. 29, 2023.
Liability of Employers. Louisiana State Legislature. Accessed on Mar. 29, 2023.
Texas Workers' Compensation Act. Texas Department of Insurance. Accessed on Mar. 29, 2023.
Louisiana Laws. Louisiana State Legislature. Accessed on Mar. 29, 2023.
Title 23. Labor and Worker's Compensation. Louisiana State Legislature. Accessed on Mar. 29, 2023.
Louisiana Laws. Louisiana State Legislature. Accessed on Mar. 29, 2023.