Seeking Additional Compensation in Third-Party Work Injury Cases

June 18, 2023 Posted In Work-related injury

While worker’s compensation provides essential benefits to injured workers, it may not always fully cover the damages you suffer. In some cases, it is possible to seek additional compensation from a third party. 

Seeking Additional Compensation in Third-Party Work Injury Cases

Understanding Third-Party Work Injury Cases

In a typical work injury case, the injured employee receives benefits through the worker’s compensation system. However, if a third party contributed to or caused the injury, the injured worker may have grounds to pursue additional compensation in a separate personal injury claim against the responsible party. However, the third party must not be the employer or a co-worker. 

Common Scenarios for Third-Party Work Injury Claims

Third-party work injury cases commonly involve the following: 

Defective Products

If you are injured by a faulty machine, tool, or equipment at work, you may be able to hold the manufacturer or distributor responsible for your injuries.

Negligent Contractors

If you work at a construction site or another location where contractors or subcontractors are present, their negligence or unsafe practices could lead to an injury. In such cases, you may have a claim against the responsible party.

Motor Vehicle Accidents

If your job involves driving, and you are involved in a car, truck, or motorcycle accident caused by another driver’s negligence, you can pursue a third-party claim against the at-fault driver.

Slip and Fall Accidents

If you slip, trip, or fall at work due to hazardous conditions created or maintained by a third party, such as a cleaning company or property owner, you may have grounds for a third-party claim.

Types of Compensation Available

Here are some common types of compensation that may be available in a third-party work injury claim:

  • Medical Expenses: This includes compensation for past, current, and future medical costs related to the injury that workers’ compensation benefits do not cover. 
  • Lost Wages: The difference in lost wages that workers’ compensation benefits do not pay. In addition, if the injury causes a permanent disability that affects your ability to earn an income or the same level as before the accident, you may be entitled to compensation for diminished earning capacity.
  • Pain and Suffering: Compensation for physical pain, emotional distress, and mental anguish endured as a result of the injury. It takes into account the severity of the pain, the duration of the suffering, and the impact on your overall quality of life.
  • Property Damage: If personal property, such as clothing, equipment, or belongings, were damaged or destroyed, you may be eligible for compensation for their repair or replacement.
  • Loss of Consortium: If your injury affects your relationship with your spouse or family members, compensation may be available for the loss of companionship, support and the inability to maintain normal marital or familial relationships.

In some situations, the court may award punitive damages if the responsible party’s actions are deemed particularly egregious or intentional. This type of compensation is intended to punish the wrongdoer and deter similar behavior in the future.

Steps to Pursue a Third-Party Work Injury Claim

If you are injured at work, take the following recommended steps to ensure your rights are protected:

  • Report the Incident: Notify your employer about the incident and your injury as soon as you can. Even though a third-party claim is not directed at your employer, it is essential to report the accident. 
  • Seek Medical Attention: Get prompt medical care for your injuries and keep detailed records of your medical treatment, including doctor visits, prescriptions, and any rehabilitation or therapy sessions.
  • Gather Evidence: If you are not taken to the hospital immediately, collect as much evidence as possible to support your claim. This may include photographs of the accident scene, equipment involved, witness statements, and any other relevant documentation.

Next, contact a San Bernardino Work Injury Lawyer as soon as possible. They can guide you through the workers’ compensation and legal process to ensure your rights are protected and that you recover the compensation you deserve. 

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