A workman’s comp in California is a “no fault” arrangement which involves only two parties: you and your employer. “No fault” means that you should be compensated regardless of how you got the injury as long as the accident occurred at the work place.
A third party is the cause of the injury that is neither related to your employee nor you but within the workplace. You may have a claim against the third party based on that party’s fault. The third party may have caused you injury that made your employer pay for your medical treatment and other benefits. This may also mean that your employer has the right to claim for compensation from the third party for having to bear a burden that was not his.
If you have to go through a trial then a workers compensation California case is handled differently from a third party case. Third party cases are heard in civil courts as opposed to workers comp cases which are heard in Workers Compensation Appeals Board. One attorney can represent both third party and workman’s cases. However sometimes it is advisable to hire two separate attorneys for the two cases. If you hire two attorneys you should make sure that they are working as a team.
You may forego the workers compensation claim to go after a third party case. This will however mean that you will miss the benefits that come with a workers’ compensation claim. Abandoning workmans comp means letting go of benefits like temporary and permanent disability vocational rehabilitation compensable consequences and medical benefits. An experienced attorney will suggest that you pursue a workers’ compensation claim.
If you decide to pursue both cases you should give your employer a reason to claim a lien on the recovery from the third party involved.
Pursuing a workers compensation California claim is important even after the claim is denied or delayed. Where a third person or entity is involved it is better to pursue compensation from both your employer and the negligent party. With good legal representation you can with both the civil and workers compensation cases.