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LowcountryBizSC: Workplace Injuries – Who’s To Blame?

By Eric Brock Attorney, Clore Law Group
Charleston, SC
September 18, 2013

In South Carolina, an injury on the job typically means a potential workers’ compensation case.  Depending on the particular facts of the accident, the employee may also have an additional claim against a negligent third party.

A third party in the workplace injury context is an entity other than the employer or fellow employee whose negligence was the cause of an injury.  Industrial accidents involving machinery could be the fault of poorly designed equipment or poorly maintained equipment or a result of inadequate warnings and instructions for using the equipment.

For example, if an employee is working on the job and is injured as a result of a fall from a defective ladder, they may have both a workers’ compensation claim and a products liability/negligence claim against the ladder manufacturer.

Other examples of workplace injury claims against third parties include motor vehicle accidents where an employee is driving a vehicle while on the job and a third party causes the accident. Other examples include exposure to toxic substances, the negligence of other companies at the work site, such as subcontractors/vendors, and premises liability incidents that occur on property owned by a third party where the landowner’s negligence contributed to an accident and injury.

Third party workplace claims may cover what workers’ compensation won’t, including, but not limited to, future medical costs and treatment, loss of income, disability, loss of quality of life, loss of household services and loss of consortium.

While South Carolina allows potential claims for both workers’ compensation and third party workplace liability, there are strict rules and procedures associated with making these claims.  Be sure, whether you’re the employee or the employer, that you’re familiar with the laws surrounding workers’ compensation and/or third party workplace liability.  Stay safe, but take comfort in knowing there are experienced attorneys who will help steer you in the right direction should you need it.

Eric Brock is an attorney with the Clore Law Group, a Charleston-based catastrophic personal injury and business law firm. He can be reached at eric@clorelaw.com.

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