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Accident Injury Blog | Car Accident Posts | Los Angeles Car Accidents

Caltrans Employee Injury Claims Against Negligent Drivers

Caltrans picks of rocks
This national forest road is blocked by a land slide of rock and debris to where it is a hazard for drivers in cars.

United States Supreme CourtCaltrans employees have a risk of serious injury in a crash in Southern California. This year by September 1st there were 185 worker deaths. A tanker truck in Acton struck the last worker killed. While employees work on the 405, 110, 10, 5 and other freeways in Los Angeles and other areas of Southern California they are in danger of harm.

Most Los Angeles car accident lawyers know that these crashes happen due to distracted driver’s texting, speeding and other things taking their eyes off the road. But sometimes they happen due to poor supervising and inadequate signage that would warn driver’s there are worker’s nearby. These can account for the basis of a work comp and government claim, for example.

What are Some Commonly Asked Questions?

Workers often have questions when they get hurt because of another driver.


What is Caltrans Employee’s Worker’s Compensation?

How Can a Caltrans Employee Recover Comp?

When a worker becomes seriously harmed, they can get workers compensation. The employee’s benefits include:

  • Compensation for medical care.
  • Temporary disability benefits during recovery.
  • Permanent or partial disability benefits.
  • Vocational training to work in a new field because of long-term disability.
  • Workers comp pays no money for pain and suffering.

Do I have Other Choices Aside from Workers Comp Insurance?

The usual way for a worker hurt on the job to pay for medical care and other bill is workers comp benefits because of on the job risks. Plus, this bars the employee from filing a lawsuit against the employer for a work-related injury. There are exceptions for bringing a suit for employees. One example is if a driver hits a work vehicle causing it impact and to hurt a worker outside of the vehicle.

Third Part Liability

Can I File a Claim After Another Driver Causes Injury?

The worker hurts because of another driver, rather than hurt on the job or by a co-worker’s actions. The law in California allows the worker to bring a third party claim against the at-fault party. This means filing a claim against the driverís insurer. If the driver is a commercial driver like a truck or taxi driver the claim can be against their employer.

When filing a claim against the driver’s employer for negligence, the worker must prove:

  • The worker suffered harm qualifies for compensation.
  • The commercial driver had a duty of care.
  • The driver breached the duty of care.
  • The breach caused by the worker’s injuries.
  • Duty of Care Breach

What Happens When Duty Gets Breached?

The worker must prove one of the breached duty of care elements to have the right to seek a settlement. The settlement or court award for medical costs, future medical attention, lost wages, future earnings, and other damages. Then the claim can include non-economic damages like pain and suffering and loss of normal life.

The worker can bring the third party claim while receiving workers comp. The employee’s case can then go in front of the Worker’s Compensation Appeals Board during the third party lawsuit in civil court.

Negligence and No Fault Liability

What does Negligence and No Fault Liability Mean?

Workers comp does not matter if the harm happened due to the employee’s negligence or another operator’s actions. The negligent third party claim falls on the at-fault party this is the no-fault liability. However, in some cases, the worker may have some responsibility in the accident. Then comparative liability will apply placing a percentage of fault on the employee and the other person.

When percentage applies, from the settlement less the amount of the worker’s fault in the mishap. If the worker gets awarded $10,000 and their fault is 20 percent the injured worker would get $8,000.


Two Recoveries

Can I Keep All My Worker’s Compensation and a Third Party Settlement?

California State law, like most other states, does not allow the worker to keep the money they got from worker’s comp and money from a civil suit. When the settlement or court award’s obtained, the employer has the right to file a lien claim on the third party award.

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Third party claims should get investigated since this suit is often a better result than the Workers Compensation Appeals Board. This board used for cases that require ongoing treatment or long-term disability.

What is the Benefit of Legal Assistance?

Workers comp with minor injuries is often clear where fault lies.When the harm is more serious that needs ongoing treatment, surgery or therapy. It may include lost wages and future lost earnings. Then it is an advantage to have legal help. Third party claims must show fault, so an injury lawyer is necessary. They have the skill to investigate the claim. They will negotiate with the at-fault party’s company and insurer.

Serious harm and disability claim that both economic and non-economic compensation makes the case more complicated.

If you or a loved one is harmed while at work in Los Angeles and areas of Southern California contact our lawyers for a free consultation. We can go over your case to know if there is a third party claim. Our lawyers can help the hurt worker through the employee’s comp process and with the Workers Compensation Appeals Board.


Michael Ehline

Michael Ehline sufferred a horrific rollover accident when he was young. Dealing with his injury lawyers, and the medical industrial complex made Mike want to study law. So after his tour in the U.S. Marines, and running several small businesses, Ehline went for it. Check out some of his Los Angeles Car Accident Lawyer Verdicts and Settlements. Now Ehline is a highly successful, ambitious car crash lawyer. He operates ELFPI.com, which is an accident and injury law practice based in Los Angeles, CA.

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