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Third-party cases: Settlement offered to injured Tesla worker

Many questions have been asked about employee safety at Tesla plants over recent years. The subject of the company's compliance with state and federal safety standards is in the news once again after it offered an injured worker a settlement of $13 million in a civil suit. Although the California workers' compensation is typically the only recourse for workplace accident victims, certain circumstances allow them to file third-party cases in a civil court.

According to the complaint, a janitorial worker, who was placed at the Fremont Tesla plant by a company that provides facility services, suffered injuries that caused permanent disabilities. Court documents indicate that a European Tesla struck her while she was cleaning the warehouse floor. The driver of the car was an employee of a staffing agency who was named as a defendant in the lawsuit, along with Tesla.

The plaintiff claims she was struck twice when the driver lost control of the Model S Sedan and pinned her against another vehicle. The injuries that were mostly to her body and legs were severe and caused a permanent disability that has left her unable to provide for her loved ones because she can no longer work. Reportedly, Tesla says the staffing agency that employed the driver who lost control of the car will be responsible for paying most of the settlement amount.

Last year, Tesla was included in the Dirty Dozen that the National Council for Occupational Safety and Health announces every year, based on the lack of workplace safety. This must cause concern among workers and their families; however, not all injuries lead to complicated third-party cases. An experienced California workers' compensation attorney can assist with the process to claim insurance benefits or pursue a civil lawsuit. Workers' compensation benefits typically include medical expenses, lost wages and additional benefits for those who suffered disabilities. In contrast, a civil lawsuit can awards damages like pain and suffering and other noneconomic damages.

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