When California workers suffer on-the-job injuries, they are entitled to pursue benefits claims through the workers' compensation insurance system. However, under certain circumstances, additional compensation may be pursued. Third-party cases are those in which a worker's injuries were caused by someone not linked to the company at which the worker is employed. Such cases are litigated in a civil court.
Following the May death of a worker in another state, his family filed a lawsuit against a dump truck driver and his employer, along with several other parties. According to court documents, the deceased man was a supervisor in the employ of a road construction company. While working at a road construction site, a dump truck driver allegedly backed up and crushed the supervisor after knocking him down.
The family alleges that the dump truck driver failed to keep a lookout for workers in the vicinity of his vehicle, nor did he indicate his intention to back up by using the horn or other audible alarm. Moreover, they claim he was backing up at an excessive rate of speed. The complaint further alleges that the Occupational Safety and Health Administration did not thoroughly investigate the incident and that no citations were issued. The family seeks $7.9 million in damages.
Third-party cases may be filed in addition to workers' compensation benefits claims. California workers who suffered injuries that were caused by third parties -- or families who have lost loved ones under such circumstances -- are entitled to consult with an experienced workers' compensation attorney to assess the circumstances and determine the viability of civil claims. A lawyer can handle both the workers' compensation and the civil claims in pursuing maximum compensation for financial and emotional losses.
Source: equipmentworld.com, "Family of road worker killed by dump truck is suing for $7.9 million", Bobby Atkinson, Dec. 31, 2015