Under Illinois law, employers must provide workers’ compensation insurance for almost all employees. Failure to do so may result in up to a $500 fine each day of noncompliance. In the majority of cases, workers are eligible to receive these benefits even if they are partially to blame for the workplace accident. By obtaining these benefits, workers are prohibited from filing a lawsuit against their employer for additional damages. However, if a third party caused or contributed to their injury, workers can file a lawsuit against that third party.
Why You May Want to Pursue a Third Party Claim
Although workers’ compensation benefits cover your medical expenses and part of your lost wages resulting from a work accident, they do not cover other damages, like pain and suffering or loss of quality of life. In order to obtain these damages, you would have to file a personal injury lawsuit. If a third party is responsible for your work-related injury, you may be able to file a legal claim against that party.
There are several situations in which a third party may be held liable for your work injury, including:
Car accident – If you are required to drive a vehicle for your job and another driver hits you while you are on the clock, that driver may be held responsible for your damages.
Premises liability – If a worker gets injured on someone else’s property because of negligence, the property owner may be liable. For instance, if a delivery driver slips on ice while walking up to a customer’s house, that driver may be able to file a third-party lawsuit against the property owner.
Product liability – If a worker gets injured from a hazardous product on the job, such as a defective nail gun, he or she may have legal grounds to sue the product manufacturer.
Deadline for Filing a Third Party Claim
In Illinois, the statute of limitations to file a personal injury lawsuit is generally two years from the time of the accident. However, if you were hurt in a construction-related accident, the statute of limitations may be extended to four years.
To avoid losing your right to compensation, you should discuss your claim with a skilled lawyer as soon as possible. A lawyer will help you gather appropriate evidence for your case and identify witnesses who can testify on your behalf.
Contact a McHenry County Third Party Claims Lawyer
If you want to pursue a personal injury lawsuit against a third party after a work accident, you should speak to a Crystal Lake, IL third party claims attorney. At Botto Gilbert Lancaster, PC, we will thoroughly assess your case and determine if you have grounds to sue a third party for your accident. Call us at 815-338-3838 to schedule a free consultation.