Tesla Fremont Factory Injuries: Personal Injury vs. Workers’ Compensation

Maison Law Accident & Injury Lawyers of Fremont represents injury victims in accidents across the city. These can happen anywhere, but are more common in certain environments–particularly at places like the Tesla Factory. When you get hurt, you have certain rights as a victim, but also as a worker. Our dedicated Fremont lawyers can help you. Contact us today for a free consultation.

Do You Need a Lawyer?

With any injury situation, it makes everything more difficult. This is especially true if it happens at work, because you not only have to deal with your physical injuries, but that also means missed work and income.

But you still have legal options. Whether or not you need a lawyer, though, depends on the situation. If your accident is only minor, you probably don’t need to worry about taking legal action at all. However, if your injuries are more serious, you may need to file both a personal injury and workers’ compensation claim to take care of your losses. At that point, you’ll need the help of our team.

What’s the Difference Between Personal Injury and Workers’ Compensation Claims?

There’s plenty of differences between a personal injury claim and a workers’ compensation claim, but they both start the same way: an accident that leaves you hurt. The main difference is that a personal injury claim comes about because of someone else’s negligence either inside or outside of work, while a workers’ compensation claim happens while you’re doing “work activities.”

But there’s some other differences between the two claims:

  • Fault – You have to establish negligence to show who’s at-fault in a personal injury claim. For example, if you’re in a car accident, it would involve showing the other driver was distracted or speeding when they caused your accident. You don’t have to show fault in a workers’ compensation claim. You have automatic access to workers’ compensation benefits under California law when you’re hurt at work.

  • Claims process – A personal injury claim involves filing either an insurance claim out of court or a personal injury lawsuit inside the court system, and shouldn’t impact your work life. A workers’ compensation claim involves filing a claim with your employer’s insurance carrier. The process is usually administrative, with cases resolved through the California Division of Workers’ Compensation instead of a court. Tesla and its insurers have specific procedures and timelines for filing and handling claims.

Despite having both legal and workplace safety protections in place, the reality is that working in a Tesla plant can be dangerous. What sets personal injury claims and workers’ compensation claims apart come out of the specific circumstances.

What Can Lead to Injuries at a Tesla Factory?

When you go to work at the Tesla factory in Fremont, there’s many things that can lead to an accident. Whether it be operating heavy machinery, open heat sources, chemicals, or many other potential hazards, the conditions are always likely to cause injuries. Most of the time, though, it involves the following situations:

  • Not having enough safety equipment
  • Poor training or supervision
  • Being around certain chemicals or toxins
  • Poor safety notifications or warnings
  • Not cleaning up spills
  • Unauthorized use of equipment
  • Lack of certification
  • Being forced to use damaged or uninspected equipment
  • Repetitive stress injuries


In terms of liability, this can mean that any of the following could be liable for your injuries:

  • Tesla – The Tesla corporation is responsible for the overall operation of its workplaces, including factories. Thus, they have to make sure that the work environment is safe by complying with occupational safety and health regulations, providing proper training, maintaining equipment, and addressing any hazards.

  • Factory management – Those that run the actual factory for Tesla are also responsible for the same things the overall company is in terms of the work environment. The difference is that the management is responsible for the daily implementation of these things. When they fail and you get hurt, they’ll share some liability.

  • Supervisors and employees – Responsibility also trickles down to shift supervisors and individual employees. If they do something to contribute to your accident, they could also be held liable.

  • Government agencies – Even the local or state government could be liable if they failed to properly inspect the workplace or if they ignored complaints.

  • Product manufacturers – If your injuries come about because of a defective product, the company that makes the product could share some liability for your injuries.

This comes into play if you want to file a personal injury claim, but they’ll also be involved if you need to file a workers’ compensation claim.

Should You File a Personal Injury or Workers’ Compensation Claim After a Tesla Factory Injury?

One of the good things–if any–about being injured at work at Tesla is that you don’t necessarily have to choose between filing a personal injury claim or workers’ compensation claim. You can file both.

Which one you should file, though, depends on your needs. A workers’ compensation claim is really only going to address the changes to your work life. It’s not going to go very far in addressing the physical, financial, and emotional turmoil that can come about because of an injury. If that’s your main concern, you should think about filing a personal injury claim.

But your main question is probably what can be recovered in these claims. It depends on the specifics of your injuries and what happened, but the law makes a few categories of “damages” available in a personal injury claim:

  • Medical expenses
  • Lost wages
  • Pain and suffering
  • Emotional distress
  • Loss of consortium (companionship)
  • Property damage
  • Punitive damages (in cases of extreme negligence)

In your concurrent workers’ compensation claim, you can potentially recover things like:

  • Partial wage replacement
  • Rehabilitation costs
  • Disability benefits (temporary or permanent)
  • Wrongful death benefits (to dependents in case of a fatal injury)

Again, you can file both claims if you want. However, it really depends on how hurt you are and what the circumstances are that led up to the accident. It’s ultimately on you to show the extent of your damages, so as with any other injury situation, it’s going to come down to how you respond.

What Should You Do If You’re Hurt at the Tesla Factory?

Obviously, many things can go wrong while you’re on the clock at the Tesla factory. But like any situation, it’s up to you to respond in the right way. This not only protects your health, but it also sets the foundation for any claim you want to make. So, when you get hurt at Tesla, here’s a few things you should do:

  • Report what happened – Let your boss, supervisor, or the right person at work know what happened as soon as possible. Give them all the details and any evidence you have.

  • Document everything – Write down everything about what happened: the date, time, where it happened, who was involved, and if there were any witnesses. Take pictures if you can and keep any important evidence.

  • Get medical help – If you were hurt, see a doctor quickly. Your health is most important. Keep records of any medical care you get and save any bills.

  • Call the police – If a crime was involved, like theft or an attack, call the police. Tell them what happened and show them any proof you have.

  • Talk to Human Resources – Discuss the incident with your company’s human resources department or higher-ups. They can tell you about the company’s rules for handling these situations.

  • Cooperate with any investigations – There will probably be an investigation into what happened. Whether inside or outside the company, cooperate fully. Share any details or evidence you have to find out what caused the incident and who is responsible.

No matter what the situation is, taking these steps is extremely important to either a personal injury or workers’ compensation claim. Regardless of your injuries or even what happened, our team will be there to give you the proper guidance and support throughout both processes.

Free Consultations For Tesla Fremont Factory Injury Victims

At Maison Law Accident & Injury Lawyers of Fremont, we know how demanding it can be to work at the Tesla Factory. Your daily work isn’t just about supporting your family but also contributing to the business. However, with the inherent risks in this workplace, the chance of injury is always present. If you get hurt, our team will be there to support you. Contact us today to set up a free, no-obligation consultation if you’ve been injured on the job at the Tesla Factory in Fremont.