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Why would you use a third-party claim after a workplace injury?

You get hurt on the job, and you know you can seek out workers' compensation to cover your costs. This may include lost wages, for example, and your medical bills.

However, you may consider a third-party claim, which is when you start a lawsuit to seek compensation from someone who is not your employer. Why would you want to do this?

Part of it could be the level of compensation you expect. Workers' comp typically pays you just a portion of your lost wages. You may want to seek more from a third party.

The main reason, though, is that the third party was actually responsible. Though your injuries happened at work, you believe the blame lies elsewhere.

For instance, perhaps you were using heavy machinery at work. You were well-trained and using it properly, but it malfunctioned anyway. You suffered a serious head injury and woke up in the hospital.

It turns out that the company that manufactured the machinery was negligent and designed an unsafe product. Perhaps they even knew about the error and tried to ignore it or cover it up to avoid an expensive recall.

Your employer did not know of the risks, and neither did you. Both of you did everything the right way, but you were still put in serious danger. You may be able to seek compensation from that manufacturer since it was their product that was defective.

As you can see, it's very important to know all of the legal rights you have when you're hurt on the job. There may be more avenues to compensation than you realized.

Source: FindLaw, "Workers' Compensation Overview," accessed Dec. 29, 2017

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