When workers are injured on the job, they may have rights to compensation for damages in addition to their workers’ compensation benefits. If a “third party” other than the employer itself is at fault, the worker might be able to recover for that negligence. Examples can include an error by a general contractor’s employee that injures an employee of a subcontractor, or poorly designed equipment that could lead to product liability. Where a guard or interlock on machinery is missing, faulty or bypassed, that may be a case.
In states such as Alabama, the employer itself has immunity for all claims other than workers’ compensation benefits. However, where there is serious injury or death, the worker or his or her family should retain an attorney to investigate and research the facts, because seemingly small details can sometimes make a tremendous difference in the legal options and claims that might be available.