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Is a “third party” is at fault for your work injury?

An injury or illness from your job can be scary in a lot of ways. Besides your health, you may worry about becoming unemployed and unable to pay medical bills, feed yourself and your family, pay rent and meet other needs. And that is why every state has a workers’ compensation program.

But worker’s comp does not pay much. Although it may help, you might still end up worse off than before the injury. If someone other than you or your employer seems partly responsible for your injury, a “third party” claim might help get your future back on track.

Unexpected people can cause work injuries

In a typical workers’ compensation situation, you provide some information about what caused your need for a doctor. Then you get medical help and maybe some paid time off to heal.

Typically, there is no need for you or your employer to blame each other. But sometimes a third party causes a serious work-related accident or illness. As examples, maybe:

  • You drive as part of your job and a vehicle crashes into you.
  • Someone attacked you because the security at a property where you are working does not do its job.
  • A machine you use has poor safety features or it snaps, breaks, electrocutes you or gives off fumes.
  • Safety equipment like a harness, goggles or helmet was poorly built or designed.
  • Working on a property, the landowner’s stairs crumbles or is poorly lit, their smoke detectors do not sound the alarm, their elevator is unsafe, their dog attacks you, etc.

In cases like these, you might be able to take legal action that would make a real difference in getting you past an injury.

Third-party claims are rarely simple

Third-party claims are much more complicated than getting workers’ comp, and they usually take serious fact-finding and planning to succeed.  But Oklahoma designed its regular workers’ compensation program to handle injuries that are pretty minor and have simple and clear causes. If you think somebody else, in addition to you or your employer, helped cause a serious injury or illness from your job, consider talking to a qualified workers’ compensation attorney.


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