Third Party Lawsuits
In most circumstances, unless your employer has failed to obtain the required workers’ compensation insurance, you cannot sue your employer or co-workers for injuries you sustain at work. However, workplace injuries can be caused, at least in part if not entirely, by something that was not your employer’s fault. These claims are known as "third party" claims, and can often result in you recovering more than you could receive from workers compensation benefits alone. Therefore, it is important to consult with attorneys who are experienced not only in workers compensation matters, but who also are experienced in handling third party claims. This insures that not just your workers compensation claim, but also potential third party claims, are considered, helping you seek to recover the maximum amount to which you may be entitled.
Personal Injury Cases
Third party personal injury claims arise if someone who is not covered by your employer’s workers’ compensation insurance contributed to your injuries. An example of a third party personal injury case is if you were driving somewhere for work purposes and a negligent driver hit you. In this situation, you could sue the driver of the other car in a civil lawsuit.
A common type of third party personal injury claim is products liability. If you were injured due to a defective product or piece of machinery that malfunctioned, you may be able to recover in a third party products liability action from the manufacturer of the item. Products can be defective in the way they were designed or the way they were manufactured. Additionally, products can be defective if the warnings and instructions on a product are inadequate or unclear
If your third party lawsuit is successful, you may be entitled to recover the damages available in negligence actions, in addition to the workers’ compensation benefits you received. These damages include economic damages covering the medical expenses and lost wages you suffered, and non-economic damages for your pain and suffering and emotional distress.
Seek Experienced Legal Representation
If you have suffered an injury at work, a third party might be responsible. It is important to consult with experienced attorneys as soon as possible, as California imposes strict time limits on when third party lawsuits can be filed. In addition to having four attorneys exclusively dedicated to workers' compensation, we have three other attorneys who possess significant experience handling a wide variety of personal injury and products liability matters. To schedule a free initial consultation to discuss any potential third party claims you might have, contact the Law Offices of John E. Hill, A Professional Corporation today.