People often suffer injuries on the job and are dismayed at the limitations under California workers’ compensation. You can file a claim to pay medical bills and perhaps obtain disability benefits — but that’s it. Workers’ comp was specifically designed to limit the options of injured workers.
That’s where third-party lawsuits come in. Yes, under the law you are not generally allowed to sue your employer. But you are free to sue other parties that may also have been negligent.
A classic example is at a construction site, where there are a handful of subcontracting companies working side by side — an electrical firm, plus an excavation team, plus carpenters. If you are a carpenter and the excavation driver runs over your foot, you can sue that subcontractor for the compensation you deserve. The excavation company is your ” third party.”
Maximum Compensation For Injured Californians
Third parties can be other suppliers and subcontractors, or the property owners, or even the parent company of your own employer. They are the deep pockets you can look to when your injuries exceed the modest amounts paid by workers’ comp. Your third-party lawsuit can easily double or triple the amount of your workers’ compensation check.
Third-party lawsuits allow you to be compensated for aspects of your injury that workers’ comp won’t touch: pain and suffering, future lost earnings, damage to your vehicle or equipment and other noneconomic damages. If the actions of the third party were egregious — let’s say that a drunken co-worker crashed into you — you may be entitled to punitive damages as well.
Cutter Law P.C. of Sacramento is not a workers’ comp practice. But our lawyers often team up with workers’ compensation firms to increase the total compensation injured workers can receive.
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