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When Can a Third-Party Claim Be Pursued After a Workplace Injury?

 Posted on February 15,2024 in Workplace Accidents

San Jose workplace injury lawyerWorkplace injuries can be devastating, both physically and financially. In most cases, workers' compensation benefits provide coverage for medical expenses and a limited amount of money to compensate for lost wages resulting from a workplace injury. However, there are situations where an injured worker may be able to receive additional compensation through a third-party claim against a person or company that was responsible for their injuries and damages.

In a third-party claim, an injured worker seeks compensation from someone other than their employer or co-workers. While workers' compensation will be available regardless of whether the employee, a co-employee, or their employer was at fault for an injury, a third-party claim may ensure that other at-fault parties will be held liable for causing or contributing to a workplace accident and the resulting injuries. An attorney with experience in these types of cases can provide representation to ensure that an injured worker will be compensated appropriately.

Examples of Third-Party Claims

Various parties may be required to pay compensation in a third-party claim, including:

  • Subcontractors or independent contractors: If an injury was caused by someone working at a construction site or other job site whom an injury victim's employer did not directly employ, they may be held responsible for causing these injuries depending on the facts.
  • Negligent drivers: If a person was involved in a car accident while driving for work, the driver who caused or was primarily at fault for the collision may be liable for a person's injuries and damages.
  • Property owners: If a workplace accident occurred on property owned by someone other than the victim's employer, such as the owner of a building where work was being performed, it may be possible to pursue a premises liability claim to address unreasonable hazards on the property depending on the facts.
  • Equipment manufacturers: If an injury was caused by defective equipment or machinery, the manufacturer or distributor of that product could be held liable.

Requirements for a Successful Third-Party Claim

In order to recover compensation from a third party who was responsible for causing a worker to suffer on-the-job injuries, certain elements must be met:

  • Duty of care: The party being sued must have had a legal duty to exercise reasonable care toward the injured worker's safety.
  • Breach of duty: The plaintiff must demonstrate that the sued party failed to fulfill their duty of care by acting negligently or wrongfully. This could include actions such as failing to maintain equipment, creating hazardous conditions, or disregarding safety regulations.
  • Causation: There must be sufficient evidence showing that the defendant's breach of duty directly caused the workplace injury.
  • Damages: The injured worker must have suffered actual damages as a result of their injuries, such as medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other related costs.

The Benefits of Pursuing a Third-Party Claim

Filing a third-party claim alongside a workers' compensation claim can provide several advantages:

  • Increased Compensation: Workers' compensation will only provide a person who suffered a temporary or permanent disability with a percentage of the income they would have earned if they had not been injured. A third-party claim may help ensure that a victim will be fully compensated for all of the ways they have been financially affected. It may also allow a person to receive compensation for the pain and suffering they have experienced.
  • Accountability: Holding another person or entity responsible for their negligence helps ensure accountability and promotes safer workplaces. Pursuing a third-party claim against those responsible for causing workplace injuries can help prevent similar accidents from happening in the future.

Contact Our San Jose, CA Workplace Injury Attorney

If you have been injured in a workplace accident where someone other than your employer or co-workers were at fault, Law Office of John J. Garvey, III can help you explore the possibility of pursuing a third-party claim. Our experienced Santa Clara County, CA workplace accident lawyer will evaluate your case and help you determine the best course of action as you seek compensation for the damages you have suffered. Contact us today at 408-293-7777 to set up a free consultation.

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