Third Party Injury Claims
In most cases where an employee suffers a job-related injury, his or her sole remedy is through the workers’ compensation system. This system was created to ensure that individuals would have a way to obtain benefits for injuries they sustained during the course and scope of their employment. In exchange, they usually are precluded from bringing a lawsuit against their employer in civil court. In some circumstances, however, an employee may bring a civil lawsuit against someone other than the employer who contributed to their injuries. Common types of third-party claims in South Carolina include those arising from motor vehicle collisions, construction site and industrial accidents, and defective products cases. Work injury lawyer Patrick E. Knie has more than 40 years of experience helping people in the Spartanburg area bring claims against third parties after a workplace accident. He also can assist victims in Greenville and the surrounding communities.Holding a Third Party Accountable for Damages
Workers’ compensation covers injuries that result from your occupational duties and assignments. If an accident was the result of the negligence of someone other than an employer or colleague, however, you may be entitled to bring a claim against the responsible party, seeking damages. It can be critical to bring a third-party claim even if you are entitled to workers’ compensation benefits because a personal injury case allows a victim to pursue damages that are not otherwise available to employees through the workers’ compensation system.
It is important to note that the employer has the right to seek subrogation from the defendant in the event of a judgment or settlement in the plaintiff’s favor. The employer’s insurer will file a subrogation claim seeking compensation from the defendant for the amount of workers’ compensation benefits that it paid to the employee.
As with a traditional personal injury claim, a plaintiff in a third-party claim must prove that the defendant acted negligently in order to receive compensation. Negligence requires the plaintiff to show that the defendant owed the plaintiff a certain duty of care and failed to act according to that standard. After proving this breach, the plaintiff must show that the defendant’s failure was the direct cause of his or her damages. Finally, the plaintiff must submit evidence supporting the damages that he or she is seeking in the lawsuit, like medical expenses, lost wages, and loss of future earning capacity. In contrast to a workers’ compensation case, non-economic damages like pain and suffering also may be available from a third party.
If you have been involved in a workplace accident and think that you may be entitled to pursue damages against a third party, it is important that you seek medical treatment immediately and keep thorough records of the treatment that you receive.Discuss Your Work Injury Claim With a Greenville & Spartanburg Lawyer
People who have been hurt at their place of employment should pursue the full amount of compensation to which they may be entitled. Understanding the workers’ compensation system and whether you may file a third-party claim can be complicated and difficult, especially when you are coping with a painful and unexpected injury. Workers’ compensation attorney Patrick E. Knie has guided Spartanburg residents and accident victims in other cities, such as Greenville, through the process of asserting their rights. We have assisted injured individuals throughout Laurens, Greenville, Union, and Cherokee Counties, among other areas of South Carolina. Call the Knie & Shealy Law Offices at (864) 582-5118 or contact us online to set up a free consultation.