When you suffer a serious injury on the job in California, you may look to your employer to help cover the medical and other expenses you accrue in the wake of the incident through workers’ compensation insurance. However, you may suffer an on-the-clock injury caused by someone other than your employer. In this scenario, you may also decide to pursue something called a third-party claim.
Per FindLaw, a third-party lawsuit gives you a potential way to recover damages from a third party that may have contributed to your injury or injuries.
How third-party claims happen
An example of a situation in which you may need to file a third-party claim is if you suffer an injury when someone working for another company slams into your work truck, causing you injuries. You may also decide to pursue a third-party claim if you were working with a particular machine or product and it malfunctioned, leading to an injury, among other examples.
How third-party claims work
A third-party personal injury claim is entirely separate from your workers’ compensation claim. If you decide to pursue a claim against a third party, you may end up in court, just as you would with any other type of personal injury claim. Should you move forward with a personal injury claim and receive monetary damages after already receiving workers’ compensation payments, your employer has a right to claim a lien on some of the funds that come from that third party.
Every work injury is different. Whether it suits your needs to pursue both types of claims depends on the specifics of your situation.