Can an injured worker recover in Tort and Workers’ Compensation?

worker with back pain

In some circumstances, a worker who applies for workers’ compensation benefits under the Workers’ Compensation Act may also be able to pursue a separate case under what is known as a third-party case.  If a worker is injured in the course of his employment by someone other than his employer, the worker may sue the negligent individual or entity in what is known as a third party case.

A third-party case must comply with statutory requirements under the South Carolina Workers’ Compensation Act.  These requirements include the timing of bringing the claim and notice requirements to the Workers’ Compensation Carrier and the Workers’ Compensation Commission.  If a third-party case results in a settlement or a verdict, the workers compensation carrier shall have a lien on the proceeds of the recovery.

An example where an injured worker might have a third-party case may include a worker on duty driving an automobile who is involved in an automobile collision that is not his fault.  The worker would have a workers’ compensation claim for his injuries and a third-party claim against the at fault driver.  Other examples can include a worker in a factory who is injured by a defective product.  The worker would have a workers’ compensation claim and a third-party case against the manufacturer of the defective product.

Subcontractors of an owner or contractor may qualify as a statutory employee of the owner or contractor.  The law of statutory employees is designed to protect the employee by insuring coverage for an injured worker if the subcontractor is performing work that is part of the owners business.  There are many exceptions to the statutory employment law in South Carolina.  

Please contact KD Trial Lawyers if we can assist you with these types of cases.  We have experience handling these cases for many workers and would be happy to help you.

The posts on this website/blog are published as a service to our clients and friends. They are intended to provide general information only and should not be construed to be formal legal advice regarding any specific situation and should not be construed as forming an attorney-client relationship. Success in the past does not indicate the likelihood of success in any future representation.

Blog post by Tom Killoren. Click here to learn more about Tom. See Tom in person at the South Carolina Association for Justice’s 2019 convention on August 2 when Tom will speak about the current status of Statutory Employee Law in South Carolina.

Attorney Tom Killoren

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