When someone other than your employer or co-worker caused or played a part in your workplace accident, you may have a claim against them. This is known as a third-party liability claim and is separate from your workers’ compensation claim.
Third-party involvement in workplace accidents can arise in various forms, such as faulty product manufacturers, negligent contractors, subcontractors or even reckless drivers. All these parties may have legal obligations and could be held liable for their actions or negligence.
Navigating the legal landscape of third-party claims
As mentioned, a claim against a third party is different from a typical workers’ compensation claim. For starters, such claims are mostly based on negligence. You must show that the third-party in question owed you a duty of care that they breached, leading to your workplace accident and subsequent injuries.
Your contribution to the accident also matters in such cases and could affect your claim. Under California law, your degree of responsibility will diminish the compensation due to you.
Finally, you can claim additional compensation beyond what workers’ compensation provides. While workers’ compensation covers medical expenses and a portion of lost wages, a successful third-party claim can result in damages for pain and suffering, emotional distress, loss of future earning capacity and other damages not typically covered by workers’ compensation.
It is important to note that pursuing a third-party claim does not affect your eligibility for workers’ compensation benefits. These are separate legal avenues that can work in tandem to provide you with the maximum possible recovery for your losses.
If a third party is involved in your workplace accident, an informed assessment of your case will help you understand your legal rights and options. The proper legal guidance will also help you navigate the complexities of the claims process, build your case and protect your interests., which can significantly increase your chances of getting the compensation you deserve.