What is a Third Party Work Injury Case?
As a California Third Party Attorney, one of the questions I am often asked is, "What is a Third Party Work Injury case?" In a nutshell, when you are injured at work you can't sue your employer. Instead, the general rule is worker's compensation benefits are your exclusive remedy against the employer. This is called the "Exclusive Remedy" doctrine.
What this means to you is if you are seriously injured while working you are limited to workers compensation benefits. You can't get civil tort damages from your employer. For instance if you are seriously injured at work due to the negligence of your employer - you still can't sue them. All you can get from your employer under these circumstances is workers' compensation benefits.
You Can Sue Someone Other Than Your Employer
However, if some other person or company is legally responsible for your injuries - then you can sue that person or company. These are called third party cases or third party work injury cases. When you bring a third party case then you are entitled to all civil damages. Meaning pain and suffering and loss of enjoyment of life. In addition, you may be able to recover your full wage loss in a third party case.
The fact of the matter is if you are a seriously injured worker you need to find out whether you have a viable third party case. Trouble is, few workers' compensation lawyers know anything about bringing and winning a third party case. Because of that, we recommend you search for a lawyer that specializes in third party work injury cases. For example, if you do an Internet search, use terms like "San Diego Third Party Lawyer" or "Oakland Third Party Work Injury Attorney."
Important Information: Statute of Limitations
The "Statute of Limitations" (SOL) is a law that sets a strict time limit on when your legal claim or action may be commenced. (Read: filed in Court). After the SOL has expired your legal action (i.e. your lawsuit) is forever barred. There are few exceptions. Very, very few.
In California, the Statute of Limitations for most type of personal injury cases is two (2) years from the date of the incident. There are some exceptions to this rule - but you should never, ever depend on one of the exceptions.