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Seasoned Sacramento Injury Attorneys

What Is a Third-Party Negligence Claim?


A third-party negligence claim is a personal injury lawsuit that allows those injured at work by a third party to seek damages. Although workplace injuries are often handled by filing for workers’ compensation, it may be necessary to file a third-party negligence claim when someone other than your employer is responsible for your injuries.

Third-party negligence claims are handled much like any other personal injury lawsuit. This means that you can seek a recovery of damages for things such as your medical care costs, lost wages, loss of earning capacity, and more – even pain and suffering, which workers’ comp doesn’t take into account for benefits.

When Can I File a Third-Party Negligence Claim?

You can file a third-party negligence claim if you’re injured at work and someone other than your employer or an associate of your employer (such as a coworker) engaged in negligence or recklessness that caused you to suffer an injury.

Third-party claims can be brought against parties such as these:

  • Another motorist who caused an accident while the victim was driving for their employer
  • A manufacturer whose defective product caused injury to someone at their job
  • A property owner with unsafe conditions present on their property failed to mitigate or notify an employee of these conditions before causing injury

For a third-party negligence to succeed, plaintiffs must prove that: 1) they were injured in a work-related accident, 2) the third party owed a duty of care, 3) that duty of care was breached, 4) the breach caused the plaintiff’s injuries, 5) and the injuries resulted in damages such as medical care costs or lost income.

Can I File for Workers’ Comp & a Third-Party Lawsuit?

Yes. In California, you can file both a workers’ comp claim and a third-party negligence claim when you are injured at work. This can help you maximize the compensation you receive for your damages, but keep in mind that there’s no “double dipping” for compensation you’ve already received.

For example, if your workers’ comp claim provides sufficient compensation for your injuries and lost wages, you can’t also pursue these damages in your third-party negligence claim. That said, third-party lawsuits allow plaintiffs to sue for pain and suffering – a type of damage that workers’ comp doesn’t take into account.

Consult with a Lawyer for Guidance

If you were injured at work and someone not affiliated with your employer is responsible, consult with a personal injury lawyer. Our experienced attorneys at Smolich and Smolich can help you determine the legal action you should take to help you recover the maximum possible compensation for your injuries.

We assist clients in both workers’ compensation cases and personal injury cases, which means we have the experience and insight you require during this difficult time. To learn more, reach out to us today and request a free case evaluation.

Get in touch with Smolich and Smolich now by contacting us online.