Workers’ compensation is a system that aims to provide benefits to employees in the event of a work-related incident. Workers’ compensation claims differ from personal injury claims because proving liability is not necessary to recover benefits.
However, cases of work injuries caused by machinery accidents may involve third parties — the negligence of manufacturers, designers, retailers, maintenance workers, and safety inspectors could be to blame for an incident. If one of these parties is at fault for your work injury, you could be entitled to additional benefits through a third-party work injury claim.
The Role of Liability in Workers’ Compensation Claims
Workers’ compensation is a no-fault system. In typical cases, liability for a work injury may not be considered. Often, employees are able to have their claims approved and begin collecting benefits without attributing blame to anyone.
Additionally, employers cannot be sued under the workers’ compensation system. Even if your employer can be considered as the at-fault party in your work injury case, you cannot file an outside claim against them. There may be an exception in rare cases of gross negligence or misconduct, but it is not the standard for an employer to face any liability for injuries to their employees in typical workers’ compensation claims.
Third-Party Work Injury Claims
Outside of the workers’ compensation system, an injured employee may be able to file a third-party claim to account for the liability of entities other than their employer. In cases of machinery accidents, it’s likely that a third party can be blamed.
Third-party work injury claims exist separately from workers’ compensation claims, and proceed more similarly to a personal injury claim. In these cases, the injured employee would act as a plaintiff and would need to prove the defendant party’s negligence and liability.
You may be able to file a third-party work injury claim if you were hurt in a machinery accident caused by:
- Defective equipment design or manufacturing
- Known sale of a defective or dangerous machine
- Improper maintenance provided by a third party
- Failure by a safety inspector or regulatory agency to identify and correct a machinery defect
The attorneys of Alvandi Law Group, P.C. can assist you with every aspect of your workers’ compensation claim. We are available to discuss your case.
For experienced, no-cost insight into your workers’ compensation case, schedule a free consultation with our legal team by calling (800) 980-6905 or completing our contact form.