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Third-Party Liability for California Work Injuries

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Posted By DAM Firm | November 10 2023 | Workers' Compensation

Workplace injuries are not uncommon, and injured employees will typically be able to recover workers’ compensation benefits. However, there are times when a third party causes a workplace injury, and this opens up the claim to further compensation. Third-party liability for a workplace injury often means there will be a personal injury lawsuit filed in civil court against that party. 

Individuals can still recover workers’ compensation benefits if they sustained an on-the-job injury, but a third-party claim allows them to pursue additional types of compensation not available through workers’ comp. However, this also means they have to prove the liability of the third party.

Third-Party Liability for California Work Injuries

Examples of Third-Party Workplace Negligence

Because workers’ compensation benefits are a type of “no-fault” insurance in California, workplace injury victims usually are not able to file a lawsuit against their employer or another party to recover additional compensation. However, third-party injury claims are allowed in certain circumstances.

Some of the most common scenarios where our team has found third-party liability for a workplace accident or injury include the following:

  • Motor vehicle accidents. If an employee was driving and they were on the job at the time of the incident, they may be able to file a personal injury lawsuit against the allegedly negligent driver in addition to filing for workers’ compensation benefits.
  • Construction accidents. Construction accident cases often involve a myriad of third parties. This can include a range of different companies, contractors, and subcontractors, all present at the scene of the project. If a person sustains an on-the-job injury at a construction site, they may be able to file a third-party claim against one or more of the other parties, depending on the circumstances of the injury.
  • Defective products. Some workplace injuries are because of a malfunctioning tool core piece of equipment. This can occur in any type of workplace and lead to serious injuries for those involved. In the event a workplace injury was caused by a defective part or product, workers may be able to file a product liability lawsuit to recover compensation.
  • Property owner liability. If a worker sustains an injury when they are on another person’s property, they may be able to file a personal injury lawsuit against the property owner. For example, if the worker was legally on another person’s property and sustained an injury in a slip and fall accident because a property owner failed to repair a broken stairway, they may be able to file a claim.

This is not a complete list of the types of third-party injury scenarios that lead to additional lawsuits outside of the workers’ compensation system. We encourage you to speak to your workplace injury lawyer as soon as possible if you have questions about what type of claim to file.

Do You Need an Attorney to Help You With This?

If somebody you care about has sustained a workplace injury but is struggling to recover the compensation you need, get an attorney involved as promptly as possible. These claims can be incredibly challenging, particularly when they involve third-party claims against another party. This means that you and your legal team will have to prove that the other party was negligent in some way, and there are specific elements that must be in place in order for a case to succeed. 

Your San Bernardino workplace injury attorney can examine the facts of your case, conduct a complete investigation into the incident, and handle any negotiations involved. If necessary, your lawyer will fully prepare to take your third-party workplace injury claim to trial.