When you suffer a serious work injury, your lawyers job is to maximize your recovery or compensation for your injuries. While this sounds like a simple concept, what we see is time and again lawyers not understanding how and when to take different measures to accomplish these goals. Under California work injury law, and the law of most states, you can not sue your employer under most circumstances. Instead, your sole remedy or recovery from your employer is workers compensation benefits. Don’t Leave It On The Table Under California law, you can not recover tort damages in a workers compensation case. Meaning you can not recover pain and suffering, past wage loss, future wage loss, loss of enjoyment of life, scarring and disfigurement, and/or emotional distress damges in a California workers compensation case. What we see is California workers compensation lawyers not understanding third party work injury law and second party work injury law. When this happens injured workers are literally leaving hundreds of thousands or even millions of dollars in compensation “on the table.” Quite obviously, you don’t want this to happen to you. We explain why you need to consult with a seasoned California Second Party Lawyer, even if you already have a California Workers Compensation Lawyer. The Program (You Can’t Tell the Players Without a Program) In a nutshell, you can’t tell the players without a program. If someone is injured while working, they are termed the “first party”. The employer is the “second party”. Name: Role First Party: You (the injured worker). Second Party: Your Employer. Third Party: Any other person/entity who is legally responsible for your injuries. Second Party Cases A second party work injury case is a civil lawsuit against your employer. Usually, California law does not allow you to sue your employer. An example of a second party case would be if your employer doesn’t have workers’ compensation insurance. When a California employer fails to get workers compensation coverage, you can sue your employer. Another example of a second party case is if your employer intentionally injured you. Or they remove a guard from a power press. There are only limited reasons where the law allows you to sue your employer for a work injury. Here is the bottom line, you will find few workers’ compensation attorneys have the knowledge, expertise, and resources to properly handle these special types of work injury cases. First, they don’t recognize viable third party and second party cases. Second, if they do recognize them, they seriously undervalue the cases. Third, they don’t have the skills necessary to take on and beat the company’s high powered lawyers. Here is the best advice you are going to get if you are a seriously injured worker in California: Even if you have a workers compensation lawyer, consult with a seasoned California third party lawyer and California second party work injury lawyer. Disclaimer: This article is not legal advice. I am simplistic in order to achieve clarity. Your case or circumstances may vary from those described herein. Always tell the truth. When you are asking for money in court your credibility is always at issue. The other side hopes you will lie so they can discredit you in front of the jury. Don’t give gifts to the company lawyer. If you get caught lying, you will have lost your case. Always tell the truth. Be sure to hire an honest lawyer.