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Common Questions About Third-Party Liability

There are certain types of cases which are well-known and have made their way into the public consciousness. Most people are aware of what the term “personal injury” means or what the term “workers’ compensation” means. However, people aren’t always as familiar with related types of injuries and claims, and this misunderstanding not only leads to confusion, but it can also discourage a person from taking action on a claim.

For this reason, we want to address a few commonly asked questions that people have about “third party liability” claims. Maybe you’ve heard this term before but are unclear about what it means. So let’s first start with defining third party liability.

What is meant by third-party liability?

When the term is used in connection with worker injuries, third-party liability means that it was another person or entity – not the employer – who was at fault for the injury of the worker.

What are some examples?

If a worker was injured while driving a vehicle, it might be the fault of another driver who was negligent, therefore the negligent driver might be held responsible for the damages they’ve caused. Another example would be the manufacturer of certain tools or equipment used by a worker that caused their injury. Yet another example would be the owner of a property on which a worker was injured while performing their job.

Why would a person file a third party liability claim?

Workers’ compensation benefits are not always adequate in covering the damages suffered by an injured person. In fact, the cap on the amount a worker can receive often makes it so that there are a number of damages facing an injured person which can be extremely costly. This is why an injured worker might decide to pursue a third party liability claim to get the compensation for their damages.

Is a person suing their employer by filing a third party liability claim?

No, these claims are being filed against another party altogether.

Can third party injury claims be filed against more than one party?

Yes, there are often several causes for a given incident leading to injury. If a construction worker is injured on a location owned by a company that did not employ them, for example, it could be the case that a number of parties are responsible for an injury, such as the owner of that property and the manufacturer of any equipment involved in the same injury.

How do I decide who was at fault for my injuries?

Your attorney will typically investigate the circumstances surrounding your case to determine who was at fault and who should be pursued for damages in a third party liability claim. These cases can be very complex, and the answer is not always obvious to an injured person.

What is subrogation and why is it important in these cases?

An important aspect of third party liability claims is a stipulation in Texas law that provides for what is known as subrogation. Subrogation essentially means that the carrier of workers’ compensation for an employer (i.e. the party that is paying your workers’ compensation benefits) will be reimbursed for the payments that they gave the worker after payments are given in a third party liability claim.

If you or a loved one has suffered a workplace injury, contact the Texas on-the-job injury attorneys at Guajardo & Marks to learn more about how we can help you. We offer free consultations and earn no fee unless we win your case.