When Can a Third-Party Claim Be Pursued After a Virginia Workplace Injury?

When an individual sustains an injury in the workplace, their first recourse for compensation is typically through workers’ compensation insurance, which provides benefits regardless of fault (in most situations). However, there are circumstances in which a third-party claim may also be pursued in addition to or instead of a workers’ compensation claim.

A third-party claim involves seeking compensation from parties other than the employer whose negligence or wrongful actions contributed to the injury. Understanding when a third-party claim can be pursued after a workplace injury is essential for maximizing compensation and holding responsible parties accountable. The following is a brief overview. To learn more, call our office to speak with one of our Virginia Beach personal injury attorneys.

Injuries Caused by Defective Products

If a workplace injury is caused by a defective product, such as faulty machinery or equipment, the injured worker may have grounds to pursue a product liability claim against the manufacturer, distributor, or seller of the defective product. Product liability claims can arise from defects in design, manufacturing, or warning labels. These claims allow injured workers to seek compensation for damages such as medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and disability.

Motor Vehicle Accidents

Many workers are required to travel as part of their job responsibilities, whether driving company vehicles or commuting to different work sites. If a worker is injured in a motor vehicle accident while on the job, they may have a third-party claim against the negligent driver responsible for the accident. Additionally, if the accident involved a commercial vehicle or occurred during the course of employment, there may be liability on the part of the employer or other parties involved in vehicle maintenance or operation.

Premises Liability

Injuries sustained on someone else’s property while working, such as slips, trips, or falls, may give rise to a premises liability claim against the property owner or manager. This could include injuries occurring at off-site locations where the employer conducts business, such as client offices or job sites. Property owners have a duty to maintain safe premises and warn visitors of potential hazards. If they fail to fulfill this duty and it results in injury to a worker, they may be held liable for damages.

Construction Accidents

Construction sites are inherently hazardous environments, and injuries are not uncommon. In addition to workers’ compensation benefits, injured construction workers may have third-party claims against contractors, subcontractors, property owners, or equipment manufacturers whose negligence contributed to the accident. Common examples include falls from heights, scaffold collapses, crane accidents, and electrical injuries.

Toxic Exposure

Workers exposed to hazardous substances or environmental toxins on the job may suffer long-term health effects, such as respiratory problems, neurological disorders, or cancer. In such cases, the injured worker may have grounds for a toxic tort claim against the manufacturer, distributor, or employer responsible for the hazardous substance. Toxic tort claims seek compensation for medical expenses, lost income, diminished quality of life, and other damages resulting from exposure to toxic substances.

Assaults and Violence

Injuries resulting from assaults or violent acts in the workplace may lead to third-party claims against the perpetrators, as well as potentially against the employer if they failed to provide adequate security measures or negligently hired or supervised the assailant.

Call Shapiro, Washburn & Sharp for Legal Assistance

It’s important to note that pursuing a third-party claim does not necessarily preclude the injured worker from receiving workers’ compensation benefits. In fact, workers’ compensation benefits may cover immediate medical expenses and a portion of lost wages while the third-party claim is being pursued. However, any compensation obtained through a third-party claim may offset the amount of workers’ compensation benefits received.

If you have been injured in an accident caused by another party or parties, do not hesitate to contact our office to schedule a free case evaluation with one of our dedicated Virginia Beach personal injury lawyers. Our firm has secured more than $100 million in settlements and verdicts for our clients and will work diligently to get you the compensation you deserve for the losses you have suffered.