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What Is a Third-Party Liability Claim In a Workers’ Compensation Case?

Sep 1, 2021 | Workers' Compensation

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Employees or workers are injured at work all the time. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that approximately 2.8 million nonfatal workplace injuries and illnesses occurred in the private sector in the United States in 2019. After suffering a serious injury in the workplace, the obvious remedy available to the victim is to file a workers’ compensation claim. Employers in Indiana are required to carry workers’ compensation insurance and if a worker suffers an injury on the job, the employer’s insurance can cover the costs for the worker.  

However, in some cases, an additional remedy of filing a third-party liability claim may be available to the victim. A third-party liability claim can be filed by an injured worker when a party other than their employer is wholly or partly responsible for causing an injury. For instance, if a subcontractor allows workers to work in unsafe conditions, they can be liable for any accidents. In such a case, the subcontractor may be liable to pay compensation to the worker.

Types of Damage Awarded in Third-Party Liability Cases

Injured workers can claim damages from the at-fault party or their insurance company over and above their workers’ compensation claim. To claim damages, the victim will have to prove that the third party acted negligently and caused the injuries. Some of the damages that can be claimed in a third-party liability claim include: 

Medical Expenses

The cost of medical expenses including hospital bills and costs of medicines, treatment, rehabilitation, medical scans, or x-rays may be claimed in a lawsuit against a third party.

Lost Wages

If the injuries cause the worker to miss work and lose out on wages, he or she can claim compensation for lost wages from the at-fault third party. This also includes the loss of future earnings.

Pain and Suffering

The victim may claim compensation for the physical and emotional pain experienced due to the third party’s negligence.

Difference Between a Workers’ Compensation Insurance and Third-Party Claim

Workers’ compensation insurance is no-fault coverage that provides certain benefits to employees when they suffer work-related injuries or illnesses. It differs from regular injury or liability insurance in terms of benefits. Under the Indiana Workers’ Compensation Act, the injured worker may be able to claim the following benefits:

  • If the injured worker is unable to work per the insurance company’s physician, he or she is entitled to receive the payment of two-thirds of the lost wages.
  • If the injury is serious, the worker may be able to claim a Permanent Partial Impairment Rating and receive compensation for the injuries or problems that may arise in the future.
  • Payment to the physician selected by the employer or the insurance company and certain out-of-the-pocket expenses may also be claimed.

The major point of difference between a workers’ compensation claim and a regular injury claim is that damages for pain and suffering cannot be claimed under a workers’ compensation claim. It is best to hire an attorney to evaluate your claim. An Indiana workers’ compensation attorney will be able to suggest all possible legal remedies available to you.

Contact an Indiana Third-Party Liability Attorney

If you suffered an injury at your workplace and suspect that it was caused due to the negligence of a third party, get in touch with our team of Indiana third-party liability attorneys at Stewart & Stewart. Our attorneys will guide you through all the intricacies of the workplace injury laws in Indiana and help you get the compensation you deserve.

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