While performing the functions of their job, employees are often injured. When that happens, no matter who was at fault for the accident, the employee will normally qualify for workers’ compensation benefits. California’s Workers’ Compensation laws exist to help employees injured on the job, by paying hospital and medical costs incurred in the diagnosis and treatment of work related injuries. If the injured employee is unable to work, workers’ compensation will also make disability payments. Unfortunately, although workers’ compensation will cover out-of-pocket costs, it is not intended to compensate an accident victim for all of his or her losses.
Since workers’ compensation is a type of insurance, the medical benefits may restrict the type and level of care the injured person receives from company-authorized physicians. The disability payments only cover two-thirds of an employee’s salary while he or she is out of work recovering from the injury. Also, workers’ compensation will not compensate the victim for pain and suffering or other damages resulting from the accident. To receive full compensation for all accident related damages, an injured employee has to look to the negligent third party who caused the accident.
What is a Third Party Claim?
Under workers’ compensation an injured employee is prevented from suing his or her employer for covered accidents. However, an employee injured in a job related accident that was caused by someone other than his or her employer, a “third party,” may be able to file a third party claim. For instance, if an employee is injured in a car accident while working, the employee can file a third party claim against the driver who caused the accident. The employee can sue the driver for medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other expenses workers’ compensation does not cover.
The main reason for filing a third party claim is so an accident victim can be fully compensated for all of his or her damages. Recognizing that California’s Workers’ Compensation benefits weren’t designed to fully compensate a victim for damages, the law specifically permits an accident victim to sue a negligent third party the same way he or she would if the accident had not occurred on the job.
Third Party Claims Can Be Complicated
Even though third party claims are permitted by law, dealing with the Workers’ Compensation insurer is an added element to a work related personal injury case. Retaining an attorney who understands both Workers’ Compensation law and third party claims is the best way an accident victim can ensure he or she receives the maximum compensation available from all sources.
Contact an Experienced Long Beach Automobile Accident Attorney to Assist You with Your Claim
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Call the Law Office of Michael D. Waks at 888-394-1174 or use the convenient online contact form to schedule a free consultation. You are under no obligation and you will never pay any money unless you recover damages for your injuries. I offer bilingual services as part of my comprehensive approach to legal representation and I am available 24/7 to talk to you about your case.
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