We often have potential personal injury clients call our office who are hurt on the job. This is no surprise considering that we spend so much time at work these days, often doing strenuous or difficult tasks. Sometimes people are injured at work even when they aren’t doing anything out of the ordinary. In Louisiana, under the Louisiana Workers Compensation Act, employees injured while they are doing their regular employment duties, are generally limited to Workers’ Compensation from their employer. This means that the employer is required to pay for medical expenses resulting from the work-related injury and a portion of your regular pay for the time that you are out of work. This limitation applies even when a co-worker negligently causes your injury. For example, if you are injured as a passenger in a delivery truck doing deliveries as part of your job, and your co-worker causes a car wreck while driving the delivery truck, your recovery is limited to workers’ compensation benefits from your shared employer. While this is the general rule, there are some exceptions, including the most common exception, Third Party Fault.
This exception applies when a Third Party is liable for your injuries. If you are injured while you are at work, while performing your regular work-related duties BUT, your injury is caused by someone else who is not your employer or a co-employee, you may be entitled to tort damages from that third party.
Let’s look at the example above, and change the facts around a little bit. You are injured as a passenger in a delivery truck that your co-worker is driving but this time the wreck is caused by someone else driving down the road, who has no working relationship with your employer. You may be entitled to recover from the third party driving the other vehicle that caused the accident. Even if your co-worker may have been partially at fault, that third party driver will be liable to the extent that he or she was at fault for causing your injuries.
Third party fault can arise in any number of workplace scenarios. If a third party installs or supplies defective machinery that causes you to be injured while performing you work duties, you may not be limited to workers compensation and may be entitled to recover from a third party. If an outside maintenance crew creates an unsafe situation at your workplace that causes you injury, you may be able to recover from that third party.
Determining whether a third party was at fault in causing your workplace injury, requires analysis by a knowledgeable personal injury attorney. If you or a loved one has been injured by a third party while working, have one of our experienced personal injury attorneys review your case.
If you or a loved one has suffered a personal injury, learn about your legal rights from an experienced New Orleans personal injury attorney by filling out our free, no obligation case review form located on this website.