On April 24, 2011, Alex was hauling materials to one of his company’s construction sites near Chicago when his new pickup truck was hit by an uninsured drunk driver. He suffered a disabling back injury and his truck was totaled. The driver was found to have a blood alcohol level of 0.19 percent, more than twice the legal limit for driving in Illinois. Alex received workers’ compensation after his injury, but this compensation did not cover the considerable pain and suffering caused by the accident and the cost of damage to his vehicle. He filed a third party claim and received more than $600,000 in damages.
Workers’ compensation is compatible with third party claims
Injured workers are entitled to compensation after they are hurt on the job. In some cases, they may also sue a third party for damages connected with the accident. Illinois law often allows third party claims in addition to employer benefits, as a Woodstock worker compensation attorney knows.
When are employees forbidden to sue?
Illinois workers’ compensation law generally protects employers from lawsuits by their own employees. In the majority of cases, workers may not sue companies after accidents on the job, even if the incident can be traced directly to the employer’s fault. Injured workers should remember that this rule applies only to the employer, not to any third parties. Some people who are hurt on the job may be eligible for a third-party claim as well as a workers’ compensation claim.
Injuries on third party property
Employees who are injured while working on property belonging to a third party may be entitled to sue the owner of the property. A Woodstock worker compensation attorney is aware that a third party claim is possible in all of the following cases:
- Slip and fall injuries caused by improper removal of ice or snow
- Tripping over dangerous items
- Falling on uneven sidewalks or floors
- Injuries caused by hazardous staircases
- Injuries caused by other major defects in maintenance
In these cases, the injured worker may wish to sue for additional damages not covered by workers’ compensation.
Injuries to subcontractors
According to the American Journal of Public Health, 59 percent of construction workers who succumb to trench collapses and similar accidents were working as subcontractors. Contract workers can also benefit from the right to file a third party claim. If they are hurt on a construction site, they may be able to sue the general contractor as well as their primary employer.
Injured workers have options. People who have been disabled in an industrial accident should call a Woodstock worker compensation attorney today.