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What is a third party liability claim?

Previous posts on this blog have talked about what a Granite City, Illinois resident would have to prove if he or she were trying to get compensation for a business's negligence following serious construction or industrial accidents.

However, that post begs the question as to why a person would be suing at all if he or she already can collect workers' compensation, assuming of course the injury was related to one's work.

The reason a person would want to consider suing even if he or she is able to collect workers' compensation benefits is that these benefits do not cover all of a person's losses. Workers' compensation may pay for a person's medical bills, but the program will usually not pay for all of a person's lost wages. Moreover, workers' compensation does not pay benefits for items like pain and suffering and other, non-economic losses.

While workers' compensation laws limit an Illinois workers' right to sue his or her employer, there are no such limitations on a person's right to sue other businesses and individuals who are also responsible for an accident, even if that accident happened while one was on the job. These sorts of lawsuits are called third party liability claims, and they can play an important role in making sure an injured Illinois worker gets all of the compensation to which he or she is entitled.

One caveat is that, generally speaking, people are not allowed to recover money twice for the same item. So, if workers' compensation pays one's medical bills, and a person later successfully sues another business or person at fault for an industrial accident an get compensation for the same bills, the person may have to re-pay the workers' compensation benefit.

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