California Workplace Accidents and Third Party Liability

by Barry P. Goldberg, A Professional Law Corporation
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Many Southern Californians are injured on the job each day, whether in construction-related accidents, auto accidents while driving for work, or slipping and falling as a result of an unsafe workplace condition. If you or a loved one are injured while working, you might believe that your employer is solely responsible for your damages and hope that if you sue, you can recover enough money from your employer to pay the medical and other injury-related bills. However, as an experienced workers comp lawyer will attest, you may actually have another option.

Typically, a workers’ compensation claim in the San Fernando Valley involves two parties — the injured employee (you) and the employer (your boss). But some cases involve a third party; one that is generally not directly employed at your place of work. These third parties can include delivery drivers, subcontractors, gardeners, and more. If you are on the clock and injured as a result of a third party’s negligence or carelessness, you might be able to bring a separate claim against that person or business. In other words, with the help of seasoned legal counsel, you may be able to obtain financial compensation for your injuries from a supplementary source.

As you or your loved one may be experiencing firsthand, California workers’ compensation insurance rarely seems to provide enough benefits for employees seriously injured on the job. This is due, in part, to changes in California laws that regulate the workers’ compensation system and which have restricted the benefits available to work accident victims. By pursuing a third-party personal injury claim, you might be able to recover additional compensation for your workplace injuries.

In serious San Fernando Valley workplace injury cases, third-party financial recovery can be greater than the benefits an injured worker receives under the workers’ compensation system. In a third-party personal injury lawsuit, you or your loved one can seek to recover past and future medical expenses, loss of earnings, loss of future earning capacity, property damage, and compensation for pain and suffering — damages that are not completely covered by workers’ compensation claims. As with most lawsuits, there is a statute of limitations that states you cannot wait too long to bring a third party claim or you risk not be able to bring the lawsuit, thereby giving up your chance to recover money for your injuries.

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

© Barry P. Goldberg, A Professional Law Corporation | Attorney Advertising

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