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Workers' Compensation vs Third-Party Injury Claims

Posted on in Workers' Compensation

California injury attorney, California workers compensation attorneyIf you have been injured on the job, your case could sound in workers’ comp, which would mean that your employer is responsible for your injuries. In some cases, another party may be responsible or partially responsible for your injuries. This would mean that you have a third-party claim.

What Is a Third-Party Claim?

A third-party claim arises when someone other than your employer caused your injuries. For example, if you are working on a construction site and a party who is not your employer created a dangerous condition that leads to your injury, you can file a third-party claim.

If you have a third-party claim you must prove that that party was negligent by proving:

  • The defendant had a duty to the victim, and it breached that duty.
  • The defendant's breach of duty caused the victim’s injury.
  • The defendant's actions were the proximate cause of the injuries. This means that it was reasonably foreseeable that the injury could occur.
  • The victim suffered actual damages.

Which Claim Is Better to Have?

Many clients wonder if it is more advantageous to have a workers’ comp claim or a third-party claim. The answer depends based on the facts of your case.

If you are injured on the job, the most important thing is that your medical treatment is provided. In workers’ comp, medical treatment will be provided. Lost wages can also be provided. However, you are not entitled to pain and suffering and other damages.

In third-party claims, you can recover multiple types of damages on top of what workers’ comp would provide, including pain and suffering, loss of future earning capacity and mental anguish. The damage award in a third-party claim will be larger.

However, in workers’ comp, a worker does not have to prove negligence. If a worker is injured on the job in the course and scope of employment, his or her medical treatment will be paid for, even if the worker is the person who caused his accident. In a third-party claim, an accident victim must prove negligence on the part of the third-party, which is substantially harder to prove.

Contact a San Jose Workplace Accident Attorney Soon

Being injured on the job means that you should not have to pay for your injuries. If you believe that your accident has a third-party claim, you should contact a personal injury lawyer for an evaluation of your specific case. Contact the skilled San Jose workplace accident lawyers at Jachimowicz Law Group by calling 408-246-5500 for a free initial consultation.

 

Source:

http://www.dir.ca.gov/dwc/wcfaqiw.html

 

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