This is the next post in our series on the handling of workplace accidents in Fort Worth, Texas. Our last article discussed how the “non-subscriber” system allows a Texas employer to be sued directly. It is important to understand that such injuries allow for an employer to be sued under the same process allowed in other personal injury cases. This means an injury victim will not have to deal with Administrative Agencies and, instead, can proceed directly to litigation. It is best to hire an experienced personal injury attorney to assist with the process. In this article we will discuss another important topic – third party liability in such cases.
There are instances in which a workplace accident may be the fault of someone other than an employer. These instances involve situations in which a third-party’s negligence is what actually caused the accident. Say, for example, that a construction company purchased a welding machine for its workers to use. Now say that, due to faulty work by the machine manufacturer, the device malfunctioned and electrocuted the worker. In an instance like this it would be possible to sue the machine manufacturer directly as it was their negligence which caused the accident. A case could be brought against the company regardless of whether the actual employer subscribes to the “worker’s comp” system. This is due to the fact that third-party companies are not included in that system.
It may also be possible to sue an employer over injuries caused, in part, by third-party negligence. Using the example from above, the construction company may also be potentially liable if it is shown that they failed to maintain the equipment in a way which kept it safe to use. If proper maintenance would have made the accident less likely, but the equipment was improperly manufactured in the first place, then both the manufacturer and the employer would share partial responsibility for the accident. If the construction company did not subscribe to worker’s compensation then both parties could be named in the same lawsuit.
One point we cannot stress enough is that victims must retain a firm familiar with handling non-subscriber injury cases. It is crucial that your lawyers immediately demand the preservation of evidence, that the firm employ an on-staff investigator who can visit the scene of the incident, and that the firm have the financial resources necessary to deal with large defendants. It is important to look for these traits in an attorney regardless of whether you were injured in the Texas cities of Hurst, Dallas, or Fort Worth.