In the state of Massachusetts, you are not allowed to sue your employer if you are injured as a result of a workplace accident. Instead, you must rely on workers’ compensation insurance benefits. However, you may be entitled to additional monetary damages from a third party if that third party was involved in causing your injury. This is what is known as a “Third Party Lawsuit.”
What is a Third Party?
A third party is anyone, besides your employer or coworkers, who were partially or wholly legally responsible for your injury. A third party can be anyone from a manufacturer of defective equipment to a property owner, and from a subcontractor to a driver that caused your car accident. You must prove that it was the third party’s negligence that caused your injury.
What Are the Requirements of a Third Party Lawsuit?
Under the Workers’ Compensation Act, the requirements for a third party lawsuit are as follows:
- The third-party lawsuit does not need to be in the employee’s best interest
- Any lump-sum settlements must be heard at the same time as the third-party lawsuit
- You must file the third-party lawsuit within three years of the injury
- The third-party’s negligence, recklessness, or misconduct must have caused your injury
Examples of Third Party Lawsuits
Construction Sites: Most third-party lawsuits are related to construction site accidents. This is because construction sites are dangerous, but also because there are a variety of different people working on construction sites, ranging from subcontractors to building owners. If another worker caused your accident through negligence, you may have a claim against them.
Defective Products: You may be able to file a third-party product liability lawsuit if a defective piece of equipment or tool caused your injury. Faulty ladders, power saws, nail guns, and power drills have all caused serious injuries to workers and these workers have had successful claims against the manufacturers.
Automobile Accidents: Another common example of a third-party lawsuit is a vehicle accident. A truck driver, bus driver, or pizza delivery driver can all file a lawsuit against a negligent driver if the accident wasn’t their fault.
Contact Our Massachusetts Workers’ Comp Lawyers
If you’ve been injured in a workplace accident and think a third-party was responsible, contact one of our lawyers at Powers & Caccavale. Filing a third-party lawsuit can be next to impossible on your own, especially if you are not familiar with workers’ comp laws and third-party claims. Our lawyers can help you get as much out of your claim as possible. Contact us today for a free case evaluation or call us at (617) 379-0016.