Injured at Work
California labor laws dictate if you are injured at work during the course and scope of your employment, your only remedy is to receive workers’ compensation benefits. However, there are exceptions to this rule.
One exception is if your employer does not carry workers’ compensation insurance, then you can file a lawsuit against your employer for compensation of your medical bills and pain and suffering. Another exception is if your injuries are caused by the carelessness of a third party who is not your employer or a co-employee, then you can file a lawsuit against the third party in addition to receiving workers’ compensation benefits. Below are classic examples of such cases:
Example 1: At a construction site, a plasterer is working on top of a scaffolding. But the scaffolding is not properly built, and as a result, it collapses. In the process, the plasterer falls and is injured. Because he was injured during the scope of his employment, the plasterer is entitled to receive workers’ compensation benefit. In addition, the plasterer can sue third parties responsible for the incident. Such third parties include the General Contractor who is responsible for making sure that the job site is safe for everyone onsite, and the scaffolding subcontractor, if the scaffolding was built by someone other than his employer and the General Contractor.
Example 2: An employee walks into the restroom at his place of work. The floors of the restroom are slippery because they were recently mopped by the janitorial crew who was hired by building management. The employee slips and falls in the restroom. In addition to receiving workers’ compensation benefits, the employee can also sue the janitorial crew who mopped the restroom.
Example 3: Your job requires that you make daily deliveries to clients. During one of your deliveries, you get into a car accident with a careless driver. You can seek workers’ compensation benefits and sue the other driver for your injuries.
If you are injured during the scope of your employment and are not sure if you can pursue legal action against someone other than your employer, it should consult with an attorney. This article strictly talks about California law. Laws in other states may differ. This article is for educational purposes only and is not meant to serve as legal advice. You should always contact an attorney to discuss any legal matter.
If you have a personal injury case, such as an accident, slip and fall, dog bite, etc., and want to get an honest assessment of your case and be educated as to your options, please give us a call. There is never a fee unless there is recovery in the case. Please contact us at (661) 362-0805 or (818) 700-8422, or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org for a free case evaluation.
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