Workers’ Comp vs. Third-Party Claims in California

Work Comp

On-the-job injuries can happen no matter where someone works or what a person does for a living. These types of injuries can be particularly devastating because they can hinder a person's ability to work and leave them with a mountain of medical bills. Fortunately, workers’ compensation insurance is available for victims of workplace injuries.

Workers’ comp insurance is federally mandated. It provides a safety net for workers injured on the job. In California, if you suffer a workplace injury, you are entitled to collect workers’ compensation benefits. California is a no-fault workers’ comp state, which means that employees cannot sue their employers if they’re injured at work. In exchange, employees do not have to prove that their employer is at fault for their workplace injury. Instead, they only need to prove that the injury happened while they were on the job.

What’s Considered a Workplace Injury?

There are two types of on-the-job injuries. There are specific injuries, which are injuries that happen because of a one-time incident. Examples of specific injuries include suffering a slip-and-fall injury while at work or an object falling on a person’s head while they are working. The other type of workplace injury involves injuries that occur over long periods. This can include repetitive motion injuries, toxic exposure injuries and illnesses, and stress-related injuries.

A few of the most common types of workplace injuries include:

What Are the Benefits of Filing a Workers’ Comp Claim?

There are several benefits that injured employees can receive when they file a workers’ compensation claim, including:

  • Medical expenses
  • Death benefits (paid to surviving family members if a worker is killed on the job)
  • Vocational retraining (if an employee’s injuries prevent them from continuing with their current role with the company)
  • Temporary disability benefits (this is usually two-thirds of an employee's weekly salary)
  • Permanent disability benefits (payments are based on an employee's disability rating)
  • Life pension payments (this is for severely disabled employees)

What Is a Third-Party Claim?

If you were injured on the job because of the negligence a person or entity that wasn’t your employer or co-workers, you may be eligible to file a third-party claim against the individual or entity at fault for your injury. A third-party claim is a personal injury lawsuit that you file against the person or entity that caused your on-the-job injury.

For example, if an employee is injured in a car accident while driving a company vehicle and the driver of another vehicle caused the wreck, the employee could file a third-party claim against the driver of the other vehicle.

Third-party claims enable injured workers to recover more compensation than workers’ comp. Filing a third-party lawsuit can allow an injured worker to secure compensation for lost wages, current and future medical expenses, property damage, and non-economic damages, such as pain and suffering or loss of enjoyment of life.

Can I File a Third-Party Lawsuit and Workers’ Comp Claim for the Same Injury?

Injured employees can file workers’ compensation claims and third-party lawsuits for the same incident/injury. They can pursue a workers’ comp claim and third-party lawsuit together or separately. However, many workers’ comp attorneys only handle workers’ compensation claims, so to pursue a third-party lawsuit and workers’ comp claim together, injured workers must hire an attorney that handles both.

Schedule a Free Consultation with Our Experienced Workers’ Comp and Third-Party Claims Attorneys Today

Prior to founding Leigh Law Firm, Attorney Alexander J. Leigh spent years focusing on personal injury matters, representing professional athletes, and helping injured employees with their workers’ compensation claims.

Since founding Leigh Law Firm, Attorney Leigh mainly focuses on workers’ comp and personal injury claims. As our case results prove, it’s a move that has served our clients well, allowing us to recover millions of dollars for them throughout the years.

We understand the burden that workplace injuries can put on people and their families. That’s why we handle navigating through the legal complexities of the workers’ comp and third-party claims processes for our clients. It removes that burden from their shoulders, so that they can concentrate on recovering from their injuries and getting their lives back on track.

For more information about Leigh Law Firm, and what we can do to help you with your workers’ comp claim or third-party lawsuit, check out our clients’ testimonials.

To discuss your situation with our experienced workers’ comp and third-party claims lawyer, call us at (619) 473-7569 or contact us online today to set up a free, no-obligation consultation. You don’t owe us any out-of-pocket costs unless we win! Se Habla Español.

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