A third-party lawsuit is separate from your workers’ compensation claim. You would bring this type of suit against someone other than your employer who is liable for your injury.

In construction cases, a third-party claim may be against an equipment manufacturer, for example. You will bring this type of case as a personal injury lawsuit.

Filing the case

Not only will you file this type of lawsuit in a court outside the workers’ compensation system, but you will follow different rules. You will have to file within the statute of limitations for personal injury claims. You also need to file in the proper jurisdiction, which means filing with the court that has the authority to hear the case.

Proving the claim

Another difference is that you will have to prove your case. Under the workers’ compensation system, fault is irrelevant. But within the legal system, fault is important.

You will have to prove through evidence that the person you are suing was responsible for your injuries. For example, if your injury occurred because of the failure of equipment, and you are suing the equipment manufacturer, you must show that the manufacturer was negligent in some way that led to the accident. If you cannot prove your case, then you will lose in court.

You may need to gather evidence and collect witness statements about the incident. You will need to put together your case to show the manufacturer held liability and there was not something else that led to the injury.

Proving a third-party injury claim will be more difficult than making a workers’ compensation claim. However, you do not have the same limitations when it comes to the damages you can receive, so it can be lucrative to hold every party responsible.


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