Our Pasadena Work Injury Attorney Discusses Third Party Liability
Workers’ compensation benefits can help pay for medical expenses and some of your lost income after a workplace accident. These benefits are available to workers who have suffered a job-related injury or illness. The existence of workers’ comp benefits means employees generally cannot sue their employers for personal injury compensation. However, there are instances where an injured worker could file a personal injury lawsuit against a negligent third party. As the name implies, third parties are parties who are not your employer.
Third party lawsuits after a work accident may provide more compensation than workers’ compensation benefits alone. Our Pasadena work injury attorney can explain whether it would be possible to file a third party lawsuit.
What Is a Third Party Work Claim?
A third party claim is a claim against another party’s insurance provider. For example, if another driver hits you after running a stop sign, you would file a claim with that driver’s insurance provider.
In the context of a work accident, a third party claim is a claim against a party who is not your employer.
There are some benefits to third party claims. With workers’ compensation benefits, there are specific limitations on how much compensation you can recover. Unlike a workers’ compensation claim, third party claims might take pain and suffering damages into account. Therefore, compensation from a third party claim can be more than what is allowed under the workers’ compensation system.
What Is a Third Party?
As we said, a third party is a party who is not your employer. This means no direct employee-employer relationship could exist between you and the third party. Examples of a third party may include:
- Contractors. Contractors hired by another company could be an example of a third party. It is not uncommon for construction sites to have many different companies and contractors working together on a project.
- Employees at other companies. Employees at another company could be an example of a third party. If you suffered harm due to the negligence of one of these employees, then you may have cause to file a third party claim.
- Other drivers. If another driver’s negligence caused injuries, then you might be able to file a third party claim.
- Product manufacturers: Defective products may cause work injuries. Construction equipment is a great example. If a specific product caused an injury, then you may be able to file a claim against the manufacturer.
- Property owners. If you suffer an injury while on another company’s property, then you may have cause to file a third party claim.
Third Party Construction Accident Claims in California
Construction zones are very likely to have people from multiple companies working on the same projects. For this reason, third party claims are often filed in the construction industry.
If you are an injured construction worker or you lost a loved one to a construction accident, then we strongly encourage you to contact us. Our work injury attorney can discuss your legal options during a free consultation.
How Do You Prove a Third Party Was Negligent?
Workers’ compensation is a no-fault system. You can recover benefits so long as your injury or illness is work-related, not intentional and not a result of assault or drug/alcohol use. With a third-party claim, the process is reversed. Third-party claims require you to show the other party was at fault for your damages. You would need to show:
- The third party owed you a duty of care;
- The third party violated that duty of care;
- The party’s violation caused your injury or illness and resulting damages.
What Damages Can I Recover from a Third Party Work Claim?
In a third party claim, such as a third party construction accident claim, you may be able to recover compensation for:
- Lost income. Certain injuries make work temporarily or permanently impossible. You may be able to recover income lost due to an inability to work.
- Loss of future earnings. Serious injuries or illnesses can also make it impossible to continue with your career. You may be able to recover lost future earnings.
- Medical expenses. A judgment or verdict could help cover medical expenses, such as hospital bills or rehabilitation.
- Pain and suffering. Third party claims may allow for noneconomic damages, such as pain and suffering.
Do Third Party Work Claims Affect Workers’ Compensation?
You can file for workers’ compensation and file a third party claim. However, you should speak with an attorney if you have specific questions about how a third party claim could affect workers’ compensation benefits. If your third party work claim is successful, your employer or their workers’ compensation insurance carrier might try to recover workers’ compensation benefits paid to you through its insurance carrier. This process is called “subrogation”.
Our work injury attorney can answer any questions you have about workers’ compensation, third party claims and subrogation.
Contact Our Pasadena Work Injury Attorney for a Free Consultation
Questions about filing a third party work claim? Contact our work injury lawyer for a free consultation. You can schedule a free consultation with attorney Greg Aslanian by calling (626) 696-2001 or by using the contact form on our site.