In Hawaii last week, a construction worker was seriously injured when a van went out of control, pinning him underneath. According to eyewitnesses, the driver of the van reached down to get something off the floor of the van and lost control of the vehicle.From a legal perspective, the key issue in this automobile accident liability case is whether the driver of the van was a co-worker of the man who was hit. The reason for it is this:Worker’s compensation is a no-fault system. If you are hurt on the job, you are entitled to worker’s compensation benefits. It does not matter who is to blame for an accident, whether it is you, your employer, or a co-worker. However, because you are entitled to worker’s compensation benefits, you give up the right to file a liability suit against your employer or a co-worker. This is known as the exclusive remedy rule.However, if the driver of the van is employed by someone else, then the injured worker would be allowed to pursue a third party automobile liability suit against the driver of the van and his employer. In the third party liability suit, the injured worker could seek to recover damages for his injuries that would exceed the amount of the worker’s compensation benefits he received. Otherwise, he would be limited to worker’s compensation benefits due to the exclusive remedy rule.Pursuing a third party liability case is a complicated venture because of the relationship between the third party liability case and the worker’s compensation case. This is why we strongly recommend that if you are considering filing a third party liability suit that you hire an experienced Chicago personal injury lawyer.