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Holding a property owner responsible with a third-party claim

Posted in Premises Liability on Thursday, September 11, 2014

Most workers in Chicago are under the assumption that they cannot receive anything beyond worker’s compensation if they are involved in an accident while at work. While that may be true for most cases, there are certain situations that allow an injured individual to seek a third-party claim against the owners of the property on which the injury occurred. These claims are separate from and in addition to anything received through workers’ compensation benefits.

Proving fault

These cases fall under premises liability suits and all criteria that are regularly required for these actions must be satisfied in these work-related matters as well. In order to bring a successful third-party claim against a property owner, injured parties must prove that the individual being sued owned the property at the time of the accident. They must also show that the owner was negligent, and their negligence caused or contributed to the accident in which they sustained their injuries. According to Illinois law, the owner of the property remains liable for all injuries that occur to workers within the bounds of the property if they should have had a reasonable knowledge of the potential hazards there and failed to prevent them from occurring. Only in cases where potential dangers are clear and obvious but workers choose to ignore them can property owners escape liability.

Types of claims

Depending on the occupation and circumstances of the injured workers, third-party claims can come in many different forms. For construction workers, a successful claim usually hinges on an injured worker proving that the property owner still retained control of the property at the time of the accident and could still reasonably be considered the legal possessor of the site despite the control a contractor may have over a project.

Slip and fall and animal attack victims may also have a third-party claim. If a worker goes to another property outside of their work building but is still engaged in work-related duties and is injured there, they may be able to successfully seek a claim for compensation against the property owner where the incident occurred. Anyone who makes house calls or travels from business to business may be eligible for this kind of claim.

Claim expectations

Although worker’s compensation benefits are finite and limited, third-party claims are only limited by tort law. When these claims are successful, injured victims can expect to receive compensation for their pain and suffering, any disability that they sustained during the accident, medical expenses, and lost wages. Those who have been injured at work should meet with a Chicago attorney to discuss their matter and determine whether they are eligible to file a third-party claim for compensation.

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