In Illinois, workplace injuries are typically covered under workers’ compensation, which provides benefits regardless of fault. However, there are instances where a third party, someone other than your employer or a co-worker, might be responsible for your injury. In such cases, you may have grounds to file a third-party liability claim in addition to your workers’ compensation claim.

Types of Third Party Liability for Workers’ Compensation in Illinois

There are a variety of types of third party liability that may apply to a workplace injury. These include:

Defective Products

If your injury was caused by a defective machine, tool, or other equipment, you might have a claim against the manufacturer or distributor of that product. Illinois product liability laws hold manufacturers responsible for ensuring their products are safe for use.

Negligent Contractors or Subcontractors

On construction sites or in workplaces with multiple contractors, another company’s employee might cause your injury through negligent actions. You could pursue a claim against that contractor or subcontractor.

Motor Vehicle Accidents

If your job involves driving, and you are injured in an accident caused by another driver, you can file a claim against the at-fault driver. This is common for delivery drivers, truck drivers, or any job requiring travel.

Property Owners

If you are injured while working on someone else’s property due to hazardous conditions, you might have a claim against the property owner. This falls under premises liability, where property owners are responsible for maintaining a safe environment for visitors.

Steps to Take if a Third Party Is Responsible for Your Workplace Injury

If a third party is responsible for your accident, taking the following steps can protect your rights:

  • Seek Medical Attention: Your health and safety are the top priority. Ensure you get the necessary medical treatment and document all injuries and treatments received.
  • Report the Injury: Notify your employer about the injury as soon as possible. This is critical for your workers’ compensation claim.
  • Gather Evidence: Collect evidence related to the injury and the third party’s involvement. This can include photos of the accident scene, defective equipment, or unsafe conditions, as well as witness statements.
  • File a Workers’ Compensation Claim: Begin the process of filing your workers’ compensation claim to ensure you receive benefits for your medical expenses and lost wages.
  • File a Third-Party Claim: Your attorney can assist in filing a third-party claim or lawsuit against the responsible party. This claim is separate from your workers’ compensation claim and aims to recover additional damages such as pain and suffering, which are not covered by workers’ compensation.

Third-party claims can involve intricate legal procedures and require a thorough understanding of Illinois law. A knowledgeable attorney with Smoler Law Office can help. Contact us at 312-332-9800.