Injured in a Workplace Accident?
Call Our Fairfield Work Injury Lawyers
Workplace injuries occur by the tens of thousands each year. For workers who suffer injuries, they may be unable to return to their jobs for a period of time after their accidents. Less fortunate workers may never be able to return to their jobs. Traumatic brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, burns, broken bones, amputations and other types of serious injuries can lead to permanent disfigurement or disability. Workers in this situation may have options for recovering adequate compensation to cover the costs associated with their injuries, such as lost income and medical bills.
Workers’ compensation exists to provide workers with essential financial help for medical bills and partially lost income. In return, injured workers may be unable to file lawsuits against their employers. There are cases where a worker can sue an employer, but generally only in situations where the harm inflicted upon the worker was intentional and grossly negligent. Many workers may not realize that they could have additional options to file a personal injury claim against a third party.
The Fairfield work injury attorneys at Barnett, Bennett, & Scott LLP dedicated their careers to helping victims of negligence obtain the resources they need to recover. We can help you determine your legal options after a workplace injury or occupational illness.
What Are Third Party Claims?
Since workers’ compensation bars many workers from being able to sue their employers, it is a common belief that injured workers have no other legal options. You should know that there may still be options to recover compensation that could pay for your damages, and you should not rule anything out until speaking with an attorney.
If a third party caused the injury, such as a contractor or party other than your employer, you may be able to file what is called a “third party claim”. For instance, if a staff member working on behalf of a contracting company caused you to suffer a slip and fall accident, then you may be able to recover damages you sustained from that accident. It may be possible to seek compensation from that staff member’s employer or contracting company.
Third-party claims are just another type of personal injury claim, but it has major advantages over workers’ compensation. The advantages of a third-party claim or lawsuit include:
- More compensation. Workers’ comp is limited in what it can pay for and does not pay for pain and suffering damages injured workers may incur. It also gives injured workers or their family members an opportunity to obtain more money for costs such as medical bills, lost income and loss of future earning capacity. For this reason, third party claims can provide workers with more compensation than they would have recovered under workers’ comp alone.
- You can obtain workers’ comp and still file a third-party claim. Filing a third-party claim does not bar you from also seeking workers’ compensation benefits. While subrogation may be involved if you receive compensation from a settlement or verdict, workers’ comp can help provide you with the means to recover while your case is being litigated or tried.
Family members of deceased workers can also benefit from filing third party claims against the parties responsible for their losses. The amount awarded from a verdict or settlement could be far more than what would have been obtained from workers’ comp alone.
Can I File a Third-Party Claim?
Whether you can file a third-party claim would depend on the circumstances. You would need to show the third party responsible for your damages was somehow negligent, reckless or harmed you intentionally. This is one reason why you should never wait to contact a personal injury lawyer after an accident.
While evidence can disappear very quickly after any type of accident, this is an especially likely scenario for workplace accidents. An attorney can help you preserve evidence that may be crucial to a successful third party claim or lawsuit.
If you are not sure whether a third party caused your injury or loss, then an attorney can help you review the available evidence and help you determine whether you have options to seek compensation.
Keep in mind, like with other personal injury cases in California, there is a statute of limitations for filing a lawsuit. Although there are exceptions to the rule, the statute of limitations will apply to the vast majority of cases.
Contact Our Fairfield Work Injury Lawyers for More Information
The Fairfield work injury lawyers at Barnett, Bennett, & Scott LLP can review your situation and advise you on whether it is possible to file a third party claim. Our attorneys handle cases in Solano County and the surrounding areas. You can learn more about your options if you call us for a free consultation. To set up a free consultation with a work injury attorney at our firm, call (707) 425-0671 or use our online case review form.