A worker who is injured in an on-the-job accident can file a claim for workers’ compensation benefits but typically, at least in Alabama, the recovery in that sort of claim is woefully inadequate to compensate an injured worker. Workers should therefore be aware that a third party, other than the employer, may be responsible for the worker’s injury, in which case the recovery is often greater.
When an injured worker comes to our firm, we fully investigate the cause of injury to determine if a third party was responsible for the worker’s injury. Often we discover that a defective machine, for example, was the cause of the injury. Often, injury-causing machines are defective in that that they are not properly designed to eliminate or prevent hazards or they are not equipped with proper warnings about the hazard. Sometimes a third party is liable when, for example, their employee caused the accident and resulting injuries, such as in a two vehicle crash. Many other types of negligence by third-parties may give the injured worker a cause of action.
So, workers injured on the job should be aware that they have options which may significantly aid them above and beyond the workers’ compensation laws.