by Bernard D. Nomberg, Partner, The Nomberg Law Firm
Suffering an injury while at work does not always mean paid time off or an easy reduction in your workload while on the job. Alabama laws dealing with injured workers fall short in most instances in fully protecting their rights. Often, it means taking a hit to your bank account on top of the bodily pain. But what if it was possible to increase the maximum compensation you receive for the injury you didn’t ask for?
In Alabama, there is a law that allows for an injured employee to recover payment for both workers’ compensation benefits as well as monetary damages. According to the law, if a worker’s injury is suffered while on the job but due to the negligence of a third party (not a co-worker or an employer), a separate action in tort can be brought in addition to the benefits owed the employee. A tort is a wrongful act or an infringement of a right (other than under contract) leading to civil legal liability.3
Think of it this way. You, the injured worker, are the first party, and your employer is the second party. When neither of these people are at fault, that is when you look to the third-party for a tort claim. Some common examples of third-party liability include:
- Car accidents while on the job: a driver making deliveries, running errands for your boss, or driving between work sites.
- Working off-site on someone else’s property when you sustain an injury from poorly maintained and hazardous conditions such as a slip-and-fall accident.
- An injury from a tool, machine, or piece of equipment that was defectively designed.
- Being injured on your own job site by an independent contractor.
Each of these examples is just one of many ways when liability for your injury is caused by someone or something outside of your employer’s control. If the circumstances leading up to your injury sound similar to this, you could have a case where suit against a third-party is possible.
The reason this matters at all for those injured on the job is because it increases the money paid to the employee. Workers’ compensation benefits do not cover lost wages, mental pain or anguish, and they definitely do not include punitive damages. But a tort action provides compensation for these very things, which, when added to benefits paid by the employer, can make your injury seem a little more bearable after all.
As we have since 1967, we will continue to protect the legal rights of our clients – those who are hurt on the job while working for Alabama employers. If you have been injured on the job and want to learn your rights, please consider contacting the Nomberg Law Firm. Our office number is 205-930-6900 and website www.NombergLaw.com. Our office is located in Birmingham, Alabama. We handle cases throughout our great State.
 Photo cred: https://lawsoup.org/legal-guides/injuries/.
 Ala. Code § 25-5-11 (2018).
Bernard D. Nomberg has been a lawyer for more than 20 years. Bernard has earned an AV rating from Martindale-Hubbell’s peer-review rating. In 2018, Bernard was named a Super Lawyer for the 6th year in a row and he was recognized as one of the Top 50 Lawyers in Alabama.