Workplace Injuries: Los Angeles & Nationwide
Every year, thousands of California workers are seriously injured on the job. California workers’ compensation insurance covers some of the damages, but insurers are always looking to deny claims or reduce payouts. Even if you do get workers’ comp, you might have additional compensation available to you by way of a third-party lawsuit. We are here to ensure you get the maximum recovery available after your workplace accident.
If you or someone you love has been hurt in a work-related accident, the Southern California workplace injury legal team at the Morris Law Firm is ready to fight for your rights. We’ll make sure you get the medical care you need and the financial compensation you deserve, and we’ll hold employers, insurance companies, and negligent parties properly liable for the harm you have suffered.
Workers’ Compensation Helps With Some of Your Damages
All California employers are required to maintain workers’ comp insurance coverage. After an injury in the workplace or while performing job-related duties, California employees are entitled to compensation. Workers’ comp includes coverage for medical expenses, a portion of wages lost while missing work due to injury, and partial or permanent disability. Workers’ comp does not cover pain and suffering or other personal injury damages.
Workers in California can rely on workers’ compensation after any workplace injury, with very limited exceptions. The rare circumstances under which workers’ comp is unavailable include:
- The injury happened outside of the workplace and when the employee was not engaged in job-related tasks (lunch breaks, commuting, etc.)
- The employee deliberately injured themselves
- The employee was intoxicated at work, and that intoxication led to the workplace accident
- The employee started a physical altercation and was injured in the fight
Third-Party Claims and Workplace Injuries
Although workers’ comp is commonly thought of as the only road to recovery after a workplace accident, there are situations in which you can collect additional damages from certain parties. Workers’ comp is meant to be the exclusive remedy for claims against your employer; if another party outside of your employer may be responsible for your injuries, you can still bring a claim. Traditional personal injury claims require additional proof (i.e., proof of negligence), but they offer additional damages unavailable in workers’ comp claims, including damages for pain and suffering and emotional distress. You might even be eligible to seek punitive damages.
Third-party lawsuits are claims against other parties outside of your employer (including coworkers) relating to workplace injuries. Depending upon the nature of your accident and the parties involved, you may have third-party claims. Third-party claims are most commonly available in the following circumstances:
- Traffic accidents. Workers who are injured by negligent drivers can file a personal injury claim even if the accident happened while they were on the clock (for example, performing a delivery for work). The damages available against the negligent driver are the same as in any other personal injury claim, not limited by workers’ comp.
- Third-party contractors. Workers who are injured by the actions of third-party contractors may have a personal injury claim against the at-fault worker and/or their employer. For example, if you are a construction worker and a different company is hired to remove waste from the site, and you are injured by a negligent waste removal truck driver, you could have a claim against that driver and/or their company.
- Defective equipment. Many industries require workers to engage with dangerous, heavy machinery. When that machinery malfunctions, someone is to blame. If the problem is simply maintenance and upkeep, then the employer is to blame and the worker may be limited to workers’ comp. If, however, the equipment was defective at the time it was sold, then the worker might have a claim for damages against the manufacturer who sold the defective products. Defective products in the workplace may include heavy machinery, vehicles such as cars and tractors, appliances, or even faulty safety gear. If you were hurt by a defective piece of equipment, you have the right to hold the manufacturer liable.
There may even be circumstances under which you can sue your employer after a workplace accident, such as if the employer does not carry workers’ compensation insurance or the employer deliberately caused your injuries. A seasoned California workplace injury attorney can help you review your options for recovery and ensure you keep your options open for maximum compensation.
Call Morris Law Firm Today for Help With Your Southern California Workplace Injury Claim
We understand there are many ways you can be injured on the job and that each case is unique. Contact our Los Angeles work injury attorney today to evaluate your unique work-related injury claim. Morris Law Firm will give you a personalized evaluation and help you figure out your legal rights and next steps.
Call us today at 747-283-1144 for a fast response or fill out our online contact form to schedule your free consultation.