Work accidents occur in an assortment of industries every day. Workers’ compensation law applies to those injured on the job. But what happens if someone other than the employer or a fellow employee causes the accident? Could a third party be liable for your work accident?
Under Texas law, injured workers may make a workers’ compensation claim if their employer has subscribed to workers’ compensation insurance. However, some employers assume their own risk. They are essentially known as non-subscribers and may be sued directly. Workers who bring a case against their employer must prove that either the employer or another employee’s negligence caused their injuries.
What if an outside party’s actions contributed to the workplace accident? Regardless of whether the employer did or did not have an insurance, there may be a separate cause of action. This is formally known as bringing a case against a third party. Not sure what we mean? We’ll explain.
Examples of Potential Third Party Defendants
Accidents happen. Some are inevitable and some may be the fault of a third party. Let’s go over some possible scenarios:
- Delivery Van Accident: John is delivering candy to the local sweet shop. A car runs a stop sign and crashes into the delivery van. John is so badly injured that he is confined to the hospital for two weeks. John should consider making a claim against the driver of the vehicle that caused the accident.
- Machine Malfunction: Carmen works as a factory worker in a large manufacturing plant. She uses a particular machine on a daily basis and is careful to follow her boss’ instructions concerning its operation. For no obvious reason, the machine malfunctions and Carmen’s hand is caught in the mechanism. Carmen should speak to an experienced personal injury attorney to see if there a case against the third party who manufactured or supplied the machine.
- Construction Accident: Stephen is a plumber who is working on a job site with other trade workers. A laborer from another company drops construction materials on Stephen’s foot. Stephen’s ankle is broken and requires surgical intervention. Stephen may have a claim against the company which employs the laborer.
If you are injured at work and believe someone else is liable for your injuries, you should seek legal advice. At the de Lachica Law Firm, we can help you determine your legal options. Contact us to schedule an appointment.