Some third party liability cases cannot be easily pigeonholed into a particular category, but if another person is at fault for the accident besides the employer, the injured employee, or his co-worker, then the injured worker can pursue both and Illinois worker’s compensation case and a negligence cases in the context of a third-party liability lawsuit. These cases illustrate the point:
I represented a bar tender who suffered a fractured eye orbit when he was struck in the face while trying to break up a fight. The customer who punched him meant to punch the other combatant, so we were able to secure a settlement through the customer’s homeowner’s insurance.
• I represented a truck driver who was injured while attempting to unload a pallet from his trailer. The pallet had been damaged when the loaders slid the pallets into the trailer, damaging the frame of the pallet. When he tried to unload the pallet, it broke, causing him to suffer herniated discs in his lower back.
• I represented a forklift driver who suffered a shoulder injury when he tripped in a hole on a trailer. The trailer had been supplied to his company by a vendor. The vendor had started to repair a hole in the deck of the trailer, but sent the trailer to my client’s workplace before the repairs were completed. He required shoulder surgery to repair a torn rotator cuff.
• I represented a truck driver who was hurt in a slip and fall accident in detergent while unloading a sealed load. Post-accident inspection showed that a forklift blade had punctured a detergent container in the load. The truck driver suffered herniated discs in his lower back.
We strongly recommend that anyone who is injured in a workplace accident that has a potential for a third party liability suit hire an experienced Chicago personal injury lawyer.