Workplace injuries can occur at any time. However, a negligent, reckless, or careless third party can cause accidents that lead to serious injuries in even the safest of worksites. If you have been injured at your place of employment and your injury was caused by someone other than your employer or a co-worker, you might have a separate claim against the party who caused your injuries. Known as a third-party claim, this type of personal injury claim could overlap with your workers’ compensation claim and could impact your benefits. 

Our experienced team of worksite accident attorneys at Downs, McDonough, Cowan & Foley is ready to help. If you have a third-party claim, we can help you identify the potential issue and guide you through the entire process. From our Durango office, we proudly serve Colorado clients in Telluride, Pagosa Springs, Cortez, and The Four Corners.

After an Accident

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Third-Party Claims in Colorado

Third-party liability exists when someone not employed by the injured worker’s employer causes the injury. Keep in mind that if the injury occurred while the employee was completing work-related tasks, an employer still has an obligation to pay workers’ compensation benefits to the injured victim. Scenarios when third-party liability may apply include:

  • Defective products

  • Dangerous equipment

  • Car accidents

  • Slip-and-fall accidents

  • Construction site accidents

  • Property owner negligence

  • Exposure to toxic substances

  • Heavy equipment accidents

  • Medical malpractice or other healthcare-related incidents

  • Animal attacks

Steps to Take After a
Worksite Accident

The moment an injury occurs, it sets off a sequence of events that can last for weeks, months, or even years. No matter how long the recovery period, the first 24 hours after an injury are critical. Responding effectively to an incident is vital. Here are some key steps to take:

  • Visit the doctor immediately

  • Examine the injury

  • Follow the proper injury-reporting procedures

  • Complete the proper paperwork

  • Report while the details are fresh

  • File a workers' compensation claim

  • Check in with your employer

  • Consider other compensation

  • Contact an attorney

Proving Negligence

Like any personal injury claim where the injury was caused by the negligence of another person or party, you will need to prove the four elements of negligence in order to recover damages. 


Duty is defined as a legal obligation on the part of an organization or individual to take reasonable precautions to ensure safety. At work, this means that the employer has an obligation to take reasonable steps to prevent injury or harm to its employees.


A breach is essentially a violation of duty. When someone does not do what they are supposed to do when it comes to fulfilling their duty of care, it is a breach. For example, failing to put up a “wet floor” sign at the site of a spill could constitute a breach. If an employee slips and falls and sustains injuries, the employer could be held liable.


Proving that an organization committed a breach of duty is not enough to prove negligence. You must also prove that this breach was the actual cause of the injury.


Additionally, you must prove that there was real harm inflicted by the injury. In regards to damages, it is crucial to visit a doctor immediately after getting injured. Your medical records can show that you received injuries as the result of an organization’s or individual’s negligence.


Generally speaking, subrogation refers to the substitution of one person in the place of another with reference to a lawful claim, demand, or right. In the context of a workplace injury claim, subrogation refers to the right of your employer’s workers’ compensation insurer to obtain a part – or, in some cases, all – of the compensation to which you would otherwise be entitled.

In instances of a third-party injury claim, subrogation would apply to allow your employer’s insurer to recover the amounts you receive from the third-party contractor for injuries and medical bills.

Worksite Accidents (Third-Party) Attorneys Serving Durango, Colorado

When negligence at a worksite results in an accident, workers become victims. At Downs, McDonough, Cowan & Foley, we provide sound guidance and support to injured workers during this stressful time.  We will guide you through the entire process and help make sure you are fully compensated for all your losses, even those arising after the initial accident. Call our Durango, Colorado, office today to schedule a free consultation.