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Pursuing Third-Party Liability for Workplace Accidents in Texas

 Posted on November 28, 2023 in Personal Injury

San Antonio personal injury lawyerWhen employees suffer injuries on the job in Texas, the only option is to file for standard workers' compensation benefits from their employer's insurer. However, if outside third parties' unsafe actions or defective products also contributed to the workplace accident, injured staff may be entitled to pursue additional compensation through third-party liability claims. A Texas lawyer can help you determine the best option for you.

When Third-Party Liability Comes In

Understanding when third-party liability comes into play is crucial for maximizing potential recovery after occupational injuries involving external negligence. The key is that when acts or omissions by parties other than the direct employer contribute to a workplace accident through provable negligence, those third parties may share a portion of liability for damages.

Typically, employers enjoy certain liability protections and limits on damages under standard Texas workers' compensation laws. But these restrictions generally only apply to protecting the direct employer itself. Suppose an outside vendor, contractor, driver, manufacturer, or other non-employer entity plays a causative role in an on-the-job injury. In that case, injured staff can potentially pursue compensation through additional legal channels.

Examples of Liable Third Parties

Everyday situations often happen from hazardous industrial machinery where manufacturers can be held responsible for providing defective equipment that harms employees. For example, if a piece of machinery lacks proper safeguards or an effective shutdown mechanism, and this causes or worsens a worker injury, the manufacturer may share the blame.

Additionally, third-party contractors overseeing work conditions within a facility can sometimes be targets for liability. If their unsafe protocols or negligence regarding proper worker protection leads to employee accidents, they may be liable. For instance, a contracting construction crew failing to provide ventilation during spray insulation work could be liable if workers suffer toxic exposure.

Other potential third parties open to liability:

  • Motorists - Drivers who disregard active work zones or job sites and recklessly cause traffic accidents that injure employees may warrant claims.
  • Adjoining Facilities - If unsafe chemical handling or dangerous activities at a neighboring facility impact or spill over onto an active job site, causing worker harm, liability may apply.
  • Vendors and Suppliers - Providing defective or dangerous products like faulty safety gear or toxic chemicals without proper hazard communication can trigger vendor liability if workers are injured as a result.

The key is connecting the third party's negligent actions or products to causative roles in the workplace accident resulting in injury. An attorney can help establish these links.

Steps for Injured Employees

Any entity besides the direct employer that plays a role in causing or escalating a workplace injury through provable negligence might share a portion of liability under Texas law. Injured staff should report accidents fully to supervisors, follow all workplace protocols, carefully identify contributory factors involving third parties, and consult experienced legal help to assess options.

Contact a San Antonio, TX Personal Injury Lawyer

If you were injured at work, you do not deserve to deal with the injuries alone. Working with a Bexar County, TX personal injury attorney can help to make sure you are on the right track. Call Alford & Clark Injury Attorneys at 210-951-9467 for a free consultation.

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