Workplace Injuries and Lawsuits Against Third Parties - Diamond and Diamond Lawyers
  • Tuesday, 23 October 2018

Workplace Injuries and Lawsuits Against Third Parties

#AskJillianCarrington

An injury or illness caused by an accident or conditions at your place of employment would entitle you to benefits, including health care services and a percentage of the normal take-home pay lost while unable to work. This system administered by the Ontario Workplace Safety & Insurance Board avoids lawsuits by workers against their employers. Depending upon how injured occurred, the restriction on a worker bringing a lawsuit against an employer would not prevent the working from suing a third party was at fault.

Benefits available through Ontario WSIB

Motor vehicle collisions, slipping or tripping, falls from ladders or elevated places, equipment and machinery, and being struck by fall objects are some of the events that could cause a workplace injury making a worker eligible for WSIB benefits. Benefits are also available for workers suffering from occupational diseases and illnesses from exposure to hazards in the workplace, including:

  • Loud noise
  • Dust
  • Fumes
  • Gases
  • Vibration
  • Extreme temperatures
  • Radiation

Exposure to hazardous materials and substances can cause a worker to become ill or suffer from a number of occupational diseases, including hearing loss, asthma and contact dermatitis.

Third-party actions

Injuries or illnesses suffered by a worker might be caused by the conduct or activities of a subcontractor or another party not employed by the injured worker’s employer. For instance, the driver of a vehicle that crashes into the worker and the manufacturer of a piece of equipment that is defective and causes the worker to be injured are examples of third parties against whom the worker might have a claim for damages.

Your right to file a lawsuit against the third party depends whether you work for a Schedule 1 employer as defined in the Ontario Workplace Safety and Insurance Act. If you do, you cannot sue another Schedule 1 employer or its employees. The best way to find out whether you have the right to sue based upon the WSIA schedules is to seek advice from an Ontario personal injury lawyer.

Making an election

Assuming you have the right to file a lawsuit under the WSIA, you must still make a decision whether to sue the third party or accept WSIB benefits. The law prohibits you from receiving WSIB benefits while pursuing a claim against a third party. One reason for this is that by accepting WSIB benefits your right to sue a third party is transferred to the WSIB or to your employer.

It is important to weigh the merits of receiving WSIB benefits against the merits of suing the third party whose negligence or careless conduct caused your injuries. For example, if you were injured in a motor vehicle collision while working, the benefits you could receive by filing a no-fault insurance claim and the damages you recover through a third-party lawsuit might outweigh the WSIB benefits. Your best course of action is to discuss your claim with a personal injury lawyer who can evaluate the relative merits of the options available to you.

Ontario personal injury lawyers

The personal injury lawyers at Diamond & Diamond have years of experience successfully handling claims for compensation for individuals injured through the negligent or intentional conduct of other parties. Their experience handling claims for work-related injuries and third-party actions makes them a valued resource for information about the options available to you. Call the Diamond & Diamond injury hotline at 1-800-567-HURT at any time of the day or night. You can also visit our website to speak to someone now. We offer free consultations and confidential case evaluations throughout Ontario.

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