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Workers' Comp vs. Third Party Claims in California

Workers' Comp vs. Third Party Claims in California

If you were involved in a work-related accident, you may have questions about obtaining an adequate level of compensation. For this reason, the Oakland workers' compensation lawyer at The Law Offices of Jonathan M. Brand encourages you to learn more about your rights as an injured worker. First, you must understand that all employers in the state are legally required to purchase workers' compensation insurance on behalf of their employees. This means that you would be able to claim reimbursement for the cost of your medical expenses and forfeited wages if your injuries or occupational illness arose from the conditions of your work environment—even if you, yourself were responsible for causing the accident in which you were harmed.

In the event that your injuries were influenced by a third party, however, you may have grounds to seek compensation through alternative means. By proving that a third party—meaning someone other than your employer—had negligently contributed to your harm, you would be able to pursue damages through a personal injury lawsuit. This differs from a workers' compensation claim on numerous levels, but it is important to understand that you can file for both concurrently. When filing for workers' compensation benefits, you would not need to prove that another person's negligence had contributed to your injuries. In fact, you would be able to recover benefits as long as you could show that you had suffered some sort of physical harm during the course of your employment.

When filing a third party claim, however, you must be able to prove that negligence played a role in the accident. For example, you would have grounds to pursue a lawsuit if you were injured by the faulty design of a ladder or the defective assembly of a power tool—as the responsible party would be the manufacturer in this case. Although you would still be able to file a request for workers' comp benefits, you could additionally pursue damages from the negligent party. This is what we would call a "cross-over case." Since these cases can be particularly complex, however, it is highly recommended that you move forward under the qualified guidance of an Oakland workers' compensation attorney from our firm. In doing so, you can ensure that both of your claims are properly filed.

To learn more about how the dedicated legal team at The Law Offices of Jonathan M. Brand can assist you in pursuing workers' compensation benefits and/or damages from a third party claim, contact our office today at (888) 245-6507. If you would prefer to contact us online, however, you can also send us an email directly from the home page of our website.

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