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If you get injured while at work, workers’ compensation can help cover your medical bills and lost wages. However, this might not be enough to cover all the costs associated with your injury. In some instances, you could pursue additional compensation by making third-party liability claims. This involves holding other parties responsible for their involvement in your injury, which can help you recover further damages that aren’t covered by workers’ compensation.

Understanding Workers’ Compensation

Workers’ compensation is a form of insurance provided by employers to support employees who get injured on the job. It covers medical expenses and a portion of lost wages during recovery. However, it does not compensate for pain and suffering or other non-economic damages. One key aspect of workers’ comp is that it typically prohibits employees from suing their employers for workplace injuries. This system aims to streamline the process of getting benefits but also means that some losses might not be fully recovered through workers’ comp alone.

What Is Third-Party Liability?

Third-party liability arises when someone other than your employer is responsible for your workplace injury. This can include manufacturers of faulty equipment, drivers of other vehicles in work-related accidents, or subcontractors whose negligence contributes to an unsafe work environment. By filing a third-party liability claim, injured workers can seek compensation for the full scope of their damages, including those not covered by workers’ compensation, from these external parties. This legal avenue is important when additional parties have played a role in causing harm.

Situations for Third-Party Claims

In the realm of workplace injuries, several situations might warrant filing a third-party claim:

  • Defective Products: The manufacturer might be liable if an injury results from malfunctioning or inherently unsafe equipment. For instance, if a safety harness breaks due to poor manufacturing, the maker could be sued for damages.
  • Car Accidents While Working: When employees are involved in car accidents during work hours and another driver, who is not a coworker, is at fault, a claim can be made against that driver. This is especially relevant for employees who drive as part of their job duties.
  • Construction Site Accidents: Multiple contractors often work together on construction sites. If one contractor’s negligence leads to an injury involving another contractor’s employee, the injured worker might have a claim against the negligent contractor.

These scenarios enable workers to address and remedy the broader impacts of their injuries by holding the appropriate third parties accountable.

Benefits of Pursuing a Third-Party Claim

Pursuing a third-party claim can provide significant benefits for injured workers. These claims allow for the recovery of full medical costs, complete compensation for lost wages, and damages for pain and suffering, which are not covered by workers’ compensation. In cases of extreme negligence, pursuing a third-party claim can lead to punitive damages, which are intended to punish the wrongdoer and deter similar future conduct. This broader scope of compensation helps ensure that all impacts of an injury are adequately addressed.

How to Pursue a Third-Party Claim

Pursuing a third-party claim involves several important steps:

  • Consult an Attorney: Engaging with a lawyer experienced in third-party claims is crucial to effectively manage your case.
  • Gather Evidence: Collect all relevant information and documentation related to the injury, including medical records, eyewitness accounts, and accident reports.
  • File Timely: Be mindful of the statute of limitations, which limits the time to take legal action.
  • Prepare for Litigation: Ready yourself for the possibility of going to court, though many cases settle before reaching trial.

These steps are essential to successfully navigate the complexities of third-party claims and achieve a just outcome.

Ardalan & Associates Can Help If You’ve Been Injured at Work

At Ardalan & Associates, we handle third-party claims with precision to ensure you receive the fullest compensation possible for your injuries. If you suspect another party’s negligence played a part in your injury, reach out to us. Contact our team today for a thorough evaluation of your case.

Ardalan & Associates, PLC is a personal injury law firm based in Thousand Oaks, serving all of Southern California, including Los Angeles, Ventura, Kern, and Orange County. We are committed to helping our clients involved in personal injury accidents seek justice and navigate their legal journey.

About the Author
P. Christopher Ardalan has been a champion for the people since becoming an attorney in 2000 and establishing Ardalan & Associates, PLC. His practice, rooted in Southern California, emphasizes personal injury law where he, alongside a formidable team, tirelessly advocates for his clients. A Cum Laude graduate of California State University, Northridge, and Loyola Law School where he also graduated Cum Laude and Order of the Coif, Ardalan's early legal acumen earned him the moniker “The kid with the golden tongue.” His accolades include numerous mock trial victories, prestigious memberships, and high-profile awards such as being a Litigator Award® recipient and an inductee into ABOTA and the Million and Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forums. Recognized by both his peers and prestigious legal associations, Ardalan’s relentless pursuit of justice is fueled by a lifelong dedication to learning and a heartfelt commitment to his clients. With a reputation as a seasoned trial lawyer and a compassionate advocate, he finds the greatest fulfillment in making a positive change in his clients’ lives, honoring his role as their voice for justice.