When people are injured on the job, it doesn't always immediately occur to them at the time the variety of individuals that could be held liable. The one chief concern that typically occupies your mind is getting treatment.
Instantly, people begin to think of workers' compensation as a recourse. However, there are times when not only the employer bears liability for an employee's injury or illness. There are times when a third party bears some (or all) of the responsibility. When circumstances dictate that a manufacturer of a product or piece of equipment (Defective Products/Products Liability) used in the workplace be held responsible for an employee's injuries, the legal theory under which damages may be pursued is called “Third-Party Liability.”
Third-party claims are not filed with workers' compensation courts. They are filed in civil courts (whether state or federal).
Personal Injury Damages Vs. Workers Compensation Awards
Personal injury damages recovered in third-party liability claims are not the same kind of damages awarded in workers' compensation cases. Benefits awarded in workers' compensation cases typically seek to reimburse medical expenses and wages lost. Pain and suffering is typically not awarded in workers' comp claims.
In third-party personal injury cases, non-economic damages come into play. Non-economic damages are those that can't be quantified easily. Lost wages can be calculated down to the dime. Likewise, medical treatment represents a reimbursement of what has been billed. Damages like pain and suffering, loss of consortium, and in some cases, punitive damages may even be awarded in personal injury cases, and those are not so easily quantifiable.
Civil courts are equipped to make decision based on evidence presented how to best quantify something like pain and suffering.
When injured on the job, it's always important to seek the counsel of an experienced personal injury and workers' compensation attorney like those of Panio Law Offices. We work hard for our clients to ensure we recover all damages to which they are entitled when injured on the job.
We work with clients throughout Chicagoland and are happy to come to you if visiting our offices is difficult, allowing you to focus on recovery. We will focus on fighting to recover damages to help you get on with your life. Call us at (312) 313-0305. We can help.