Work Related Injuries


Under California law, an employee cannot sue their employer for injuries sustained while on the job. Workers’ compensation laws were created to provide a solution to protect the millions of Californians who risk injury each day at work and to protect the employers from lawsuits brought by their employees. 

Workers’ compensation provides benefits to employees who suffer injuries while on the job regardless of who is at fault, and even if the worker’s negligence caused or contributed to their injuries. This is known as the “exclusive solution rule” which provides that the injured employee’s sole remedy is to file a worker’s compensation claim. 

As with many laws, there are a few exceptions to this exclusive remedy rule. One of the exceptions is third party work accidents.  


An employee may sue a third party who contributed to their injury. This is typically seen in cases involving a defective product such as defective machinery or tools and claims of negligence by third parties. For example, an employee falls from a ladder that was both defective and negligently installed. While the employee cannot sue their employer, they may have a case against several other third parties, including the manufacturer of the ladder and the company that installed the ladder. 

Generally, injured employees can pursue both a workers’ compensation claim and a lawsuit against a third party if the third party is not the employer. 


California law allows lawsuits to be filed under a “product liability” theory. To prevail under this theory, you must establish that the product was defective and the cause of your injury. Proving a product is defective is not an easy task. Generally, there are three ways to establish a product is defective:
• Defective Design:
To prove a defective design, you must show that the entire line of the product has characteristics that pose an unreasonable risk of danger due to faulty design. In other words, the entire product line is defective. 
• Manufacturing Defect:
To prove a manufacturing defect, you must show that the product departed from the intended design causing it to be more dangerous. In other words, the entire line of products was safe except for this particular one.
• Inadequate Warning:
To prove a product was defective based on inadequate warning, you must show that the product failed to warn of the risks associated with the product such as providing instructions for safe product use.


When a defective product is put into market for sale to consumers, liability for injuries from the defective product may be passed to all parties within the “chain or distribution” even if these parties were not involved in manufacturing the product. Generally, parties who may be responsible for a defective product include:


In most cases, recovering from a third party far exceeds any benefits provided by workers’ compensation since not all damages are covered by workers’ compensation such as pain and suffering or the loss of future earning capacity. 
As in all personal injury cases, the main legal challenge involving significant injuries such as catastrophic or life-altering injuries is persuasive and comprehensive presentation of your injuries in order to recover the compensation you are entitled to treat your injuries.
The Zolfaghari Law Firm carefully selects and assembles a multidisciplinary team of medical, rehabilitative, and life care planning experts, whose experience and credentials match your specific situation. These professionals are not only essential to prove your injuries but they can also help to promote your recovery. 


The Zolfaghari Law Firm is a boutique law firm that provides “big law firm” representation without the “one size fits all” approach. You work directly with an attorney in understanding your case. Contact us and let’s discuss how we can properly treat your injuries with our medical professional and defend your rights against those who are responsible.