Workplace accidents are all too common. A worker may be injured using a power tool, driving a truck, or slipping on some spilled coffee in the lounge. While workers’ compensation benefits typically cover the cost of medical expenses and lost wages, they generally do not cover such losses as mental anguish, lost enjoyment of life, and pain and suffering.
If a third party – someone other than your employer — is responsible for the injuries you sustained in the workplace, you may be able to recover additional compensation. An experienced Birmingham workplace accident lawyer could help you identify any responsible individuals and pursue any recoverable damages. En Español.
Understanding Third-Party Claims
Various people or entities can have responsibility for a workplace accident. Examples include the owners of a business the worker visits while on the job, the manufacturer of defective equipment or materials used at work, and a negligent driver who causes a motor vehicle accident while the employee is on the job.
While workers’ compensation is a no-fault system, an injured worker must prove the third party was negligent or strictly liable when pursuing a third-party claim. An experienced workplace accident attorney can investigate the case and gather crucial evidence needed to establish third-party liability.
Under Alabama’s contributory negligence rule, which applies to negligence cases, it is not sufficient for the injured party to establish another party’s fault. To recover compensation, they must also show they did nothing to contribute to the accident. Even if the other party or parties are 99 percent at fault, the claimant is barred from recovery if they are only one percent at fault.
This is a challenging standard. The unique interplay among Alabama’s personal injury, product liability, and workers’ compensation laws in seeking damages for a workplace accident, can make a Birmingham workplace accident attorney particularly valuable in third-party claims.
Types of Compensation Available in a Workplace Accident Claim
Workplace accident claims address compensation an injured worker may be owed outside the workers’ compensation benefits provided by the employer. This type of compensation could include:
- Payment for past, current, and future lost wages due to the accident
- Payment for past, current, and future medical expenses related to the accident
- Payment for rehabilitation and personal care services
- Cost of replacing or repairing damaged property
- Payment for mental distress, physical pain and suffering, and other non-economic injuries
Recovering financial compensation for these types of damages is not automatic. A skilled and experienced attorney can help an injured worker recover the compensation they are owed from every available source.
When to File a Third-Party Claim
For most Alabama workplace accidents, an injured worker must file their third-party claim within two years of the injury. A Birmingham workplace accident attorney should be familiar with these filing requirements and help identify applicable deadlines and meet them.
Reach Out to a Birmingham Workplace Accident Attorney
Getting hurt on the job can be traumatic. The resulting injuries, bills, medical complications, and lost wages can be overwhelming. Trying to navigate the complexities of a workers’ compensation insurance and a third-party claim can be daunting. A Birmingham workplace accident lawyer has experience leading injured workers through the process and can help you achieve the best outcome. Call today to book your introductory case consultation and learn potential next steps.