Cranes are used in construction projects all across the county, including on barges in Charleston-area waterways. While this equipment can be helpful under normal circumstances, serious injury can occur if they are improperly operated.
Employees are generally prohibited from filing a personal injury lawsuit against their employer since the workers’ compensation system is set up to ensure workers are covered in the event of workplace injuries. However, seeking workers’ compensation can be difficult for those injured in accidents related to barge crane misuse, since many barge crane operators function as independent contractors instead of working under a single employer.
Fortunately, it is possible for victims to file a personal injury lawsuit under the Workers’ Compensation Act §42-1-550. If you have suffered an injury, an experienced legal representative may be able to help you decide how to proceed with Charleston third-party liability claims against barge crane operators.
What is a Third-Party Liability Claim?
In the workers’ compensation system, a third-party liability lawsuit is a lawsuit filed against a person other than the employer. These are tort lawsuits, which allow injured workers to seek damages outside of the workers’ compensation system.
Generally, successful Charleston third-party liability claims against barge crane operators hinge on demonstrating that a third-party was negligent and therefore could be held liable for any injuries related to that negligence. Usually, this involves demonstrating that:
- A barge crane operator owed a duty of care
- A barge crane operator breached the duty of care
- The breach was the actual and proximate cause of injuries
- A person suffered injuries or damages
This is a different burden of proof than normal workers’ compensation cases require. Generally, someone filing a workers’ compensation claim must only demonstrate that they suffered an injury in the workplace.
Benefits of Filing a Liability Claim Against a Barge Crane Operator
A third-party liability claim filed against a barge crane operator in Charleston may allow an injured worker to recover compensation that would be unavailable under the workers’ compensation system. Generally, there are limits on the amount a worker can recover in a workers’ compensation claim, and damages must cover lost wages in addition to all other related damages.
However, a third-party liability claim allows a victim to seek the full value of their lost wages. Victims of barge crane accidents may also be eligible to seek additional damages, such as compensation for pain and suffering or reimbursement for the value of injury-related medical bills.
Brage crane victims may wish to speak with an attorney to discuss their case. A legal professional may be able to provide insight on any potential claims, damages, and the difference between workers’ compensation and a third-party liability claim.
How an Attorney Could Help with Charleston Third-Party Liability Claims Against Barge Crane Operators
Charleston third-party liability claims against barge crane operators often require personal attention and legal expertise. Since these cases rely on demonstrating fault, it may be valuable to retain a qualified personal injury lawyer who could investigate an accident and examine the resulting injuries to help show the elements of liability.
Filing a case against a third-party may be intimidating, but it could be more beneficial for some injured individuals. Victims may be eligible for greater compensation or the full value of their lost wages. If you are unsure of the difference between a third-party liability claim and workers’ compensation or are considering filing such a claim yourself, consider discussing your situation with a dedicated attorney. Reach out today to schedule a consultation.