Despite numerous guidelines and procedures that roadworkers must follow when performing construction or maintenance on the side of the road, accidents involving roadworkers are a regular occurrence. According to the Department of Public Safety, there were over 1,400 work zone accidents and 15 fatalities involving roadworkers in 2015. Charleston workers’ compensation system SC Code § 42-1-160 allows for an employee who suffered an injury during the course of their employment to recover compensation for their injuries covering medical expenses, lost wages, and disability.
However, in some cases, one’s injuries may be so severe that they would like to go beyond the workers’ compensation system and file Charleston third-party liability claims against road workers. Third-party workplace liability claims are like standard injury lawsuits. However, these lawsuits are against someone other than an employer and therefore are outside the workers’ compensation system. If you suffered an injury while on the job because of a road worker, you may have the right to file a third-party liability claim against them.
However, it is important you carefully consider your options and rights before filing a claim. An attorney experienced in Charleston third-party liability claims against roadworkers can discuss the potential benefits and detriments of filing a third-party liability claim. Read on to learn more about how a dedicated injury attorney from Howell and Christmas can offer you their assistance today.
Defining Liable Third-Party Roadworkers
In the event of an accident with a road worker, there are many potential third-parties who may be liable for the accident and any resulting injuries, including supervisors, manufacturers of defective equipment, and public utility providers. There are several notable differences between filing a workers’ compensation claim and a third-party liability claim against a road worker.
At the outset, one of the biggest differences between a workers’ compensation case and a third-party claim is the burden of proof. If an employee suffers an injury during the course of employment, they are generally not required to prove that their employer was at fault for causing the injury. However, a third-party liability claim will require that a worker prove the road worker was negligent, reckless, or committed an intentional or illegal act.
The Court System
The workers’ compensation system allows injured employees to forgo some of the formalities and waiting associated with filing a claim in civil court according to the South Carolina Workers’ Compensation Commission. Charleston third-party liability claims against road workers do not fall within the workers’ compensation system, therefore they must be filed in civil court.
Charleston employers must provide workers’ compensation coverage to their employees if they employ four or more full-time employees. However, there are certain individuals who are not covered under the workers’ compensation system including agricultural employees, railroads, and railway express companies and their employees according to S.C Code § 42-1-360. Still, anyone who suffers an injury due to a roadworker may file a third-party liability claim.
Filing Charleston Third-Party Liability Claims Against Road Workers
If you suffered an injury due to a road worker, you may need to consider filing a third-party liability claim against a roadworker outside of the workers’ compensation system. In certain circumstances, Charleston third-party liability claims against road workers may allow for individuals and their families to file a lawsuit for compensation that normally would not be available to them under the workers’ compensation system. However, it is important to consider your options, and a dedicated injury lawyer can help guide you through the process and advocate on your behalf. Reach out to a compassionate attorney from Howell and Christmas today to see how they can help you.