When Can Oklahoma Workers Bring a Third-Party Lawsuit?
Under Oklahoma’s statutory workers’ compensation scheme, employees are barred from bringing personal injury claims against their own employer. This means that, even when your employer’s negligence led directly to your injuries, you are limited to seeking benefits through the workers’ compensation system. This restriction on bringing personal injury lawsuits, however, doesn’t stop workers from bringing claims against other parties who may be responsible for their injuries.
Work injury claims against someone other than your employer are known as third-party lawsuits. Third-party claims are frequently brought against:
- Construction workers often work side by side with workers hired by other companies. When the actions or negligence of one contractor cause injury to a worker employed by another contractor, that employee may be able to recover compensation through a third-party claim.
- Workers on job sites, on factory floors and even in offices are reliant on machinery and safety equipment. When this equipment is defectively manufactured, it can cause injury. In cases where the malfunction or injury had nothing to do with the employer, workers can often bring a products liability claim just as if they were injured outside of work.
- Whether you are working in a warehouse or are out on a service call, there is potential for you to be injured by a driver. If you are hurt, you may have a claim against that driver or the company employing them.
Unlike workers’ compensation, which only pays certain medical costs and partial lost wages, a third-party claim can result in the payment of full lost wages and compensation for your pain and suffering as well as your full medical and rehabilitation costs.
If you or a loved one has been hurt at work due to the actions or negligence of a third party, the Oklahoma injury attorneys at Ryan Bisher Ryan & Simons can help. Contact us today to arrange your free initial consultation.