Most Atlanta workers know that if they are injured on the job, they can receive benefits to cover the costs of their injury through workers’ compensation. There are certain workplace accidents, however, that make workers eligible to seek additional compensation through a third-party claim. When an on-the-job injury has the potential for a third-party claim, it is important to speak to a workers’ compensation attorney as these cases are far more complicated.
What Is Third Party Negligence?Under normal circumstances, workplace accidents are usually caused by the negligence of the employer or employee(s). Third party claims become possible only when the fault of the accident rests with another party. For instance, if a mail carrier is driving their postal vehicle and another driver on the road causes an accident that injures the mail carrier, there is a third party involved. The mail carrier would, of course, be able to file a workers’ compensation claim because the injury occurred while performing their job, but they would also be able to file a third party claim against the responsible driver to recover damages not accounted for under workers’ compensation, such as pain and suffering.
Common Third Party Liability Accidents in AtlantaThere is potential for third party liability in almost any workplace in Atlanta, but there are certain sectors where the working environments make it far more likely. Generally speaking, most workplace accidents that involve third party claims are the following:
- Motor Vehicle Accidents – The transportation industry accounts for a large number of all types of workplace accidents, including ones that involve third-party negligence. Any worker that spends time driving as part of their job stands as much risk of having an motor vehicle collision as anyone else using the road so it is little wonder this category of accidents is regular source of third party claims.
- Accidents at Construction Sites – Construction sites are very conducive to third-party claims. Many construction sites employ several different companies, contractors, and subcontractors to complete various aspects of the project. This means almost infinite opportunities for the negligence of one worker to cause injuries to another one worker that is employed by someone else.
- Slip and Fall Accidents – These types of accidents happen in many workplaces, but the ones involving third party liability usually deal with negligence on the part of a building owner.
How to Prove Third Party NegligenceIn Georgia, workers’ compensation is based on a no-fault system. This means that an injured worker may collect benefits through workers’ compensation without proving negligence in the accident. In fact, an injured worker can receive benefits regardless even if they were injured due to their own negligence. To collect damages through a third party claim, however, the injured worker must first prove that the third party was both liable and negligent. There are four points that must be demonstrated:
- A third party had a duty/was liable to the injured worker;
- The third party breached their duty to the injured worker;
- Injuries sustained were caused by the breach of duty; and
- There are quantifiable damages or losses to the worker because of the injury, such as medical expenses or pain.