Third Party Liability

If a worker’s injuries are caused by the negligence of a third person who is not the employer or other employees in the injured worker workplace, the Department of Labor and Industries third-party provision allows the worker to pursue an independent cause of action against the third person in addition to his workers’ compensation claim. Simply, an injured worker may take legal action to recover damages if a “third party” was responsible for the injury. For example, a third-party may include a driver of a vehicle that hit the worker, a manufacturer of a defective product that injured the worker, or a general contractor, overseeing a construction site where the worker was injured.

Successful third-party action benefits both employers and employees. Employers benefit because the amount recovered can be credited to the workers’ compensation insurance account, reducing the effect the claim has on an employer’s rating.

  • The injured worker may initiate a third party action or L&I may, if the worker chooses not to do so. The employer cannot initiate this action.
  • The injured worker continues to receive workers’ compensation benefits while he/she or L&I pursues legal action.
  • L&I approval is required for any settlement that doesn’t cover the costs of the claim.
  • If the injured worker receives a financial settlement and has funds remaining after repaying claim costs, his/her workers’ compensation benefits would stop. Benefits might resume in the future depending on the amount of the remaining recovery and how long the worker is unable to work or continues to receive medical care.

If you have been re-injured in an accident at work or if you have an occupational illness, you deserve protection.  Call our office today to talk to a Worker Compensation Attorney.

 Call 253-631-6484. We don’t get paid unless you get paid.

Third Party Liability