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Can I Sue a Third Party for My On-the-Job Injury in California?

By Kenton Koszdin Law Office on November 18, 2013 | In Workplace Injury

Employees who are injured on the job in California typically turn to their employer’s workers’ compensation coverage first for help paying medical bills, replacement of some of the wages lost during recovery from an injury, and other benefits. Typically, workers’ compensation is the only route an employee can take to get benefits from the employer after an injury, even if the employer was negligent or knew about the risk that eventually caused harm to the employee. In most cases, an employee will not be able to sue the employer for damages after a workplace injury.

However, you may have a case against a “third party.” This is a person or company who is not the employer or workers’ compensation insurer. Your experienced southern California workers’ compensation attorney can help you determine whether you have a third-party case against another person or organization and how best to pursue your claim.

Situations in which an injured worker may have a third-party claim against an outside person or company include auto accidents. For instance, if a worker is driving as part of his or her job and is struck by a car driven by another person, the worker may be able to seek compensation from the other driver in addition to workers’ compensation.

Another situation in which an injured worker may be able to bring a lawsuit against a third party is in a product liability case, particularly if a defective tool, piece of equipment, or other item used on the job causes the injury. Hidden defects can cause serious harm, but even experienced workers cannot always identify a hidden defect until it is too late. You should contact an attorney who knows how to identify potential parties for lawsuits and get fair compensation.

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