I Was Injured at Work. What Are My Rights?
If you were injured on the job, you should immediately seek medical attention, gather witnesses’ contact details, and document the accident scene. On top of that, your next steps are also crucial to your recovery.
Workers’ compensation laws provide monetary compensation and other benefits to employees who were injured at work. It doesn’t matter who’s responsible for the accident, as workers’ compensation laws do not require the injured party to prove fault.
However, employees who were injured while performing work duties are not entitled to recover the same damages as they are in a personal injury claim. Not to mention, injured employees who pursue benefits under workers’ compensation laws are not allowed to sue their employers.
With this in mind, it may seem like injured employees can’t file both a personal injury claim and a workers’ comp claim. But there are some exceptions. They include:
- Your employer intentionally hurt you: You may be entitled to collect damages for pain and suffering if your employer intentionally injured you. “Intentional” does not mean your employer was negligent or even careless, it means your employer willingly and deliberately harmed you. If you believe this applies to your situation, you may be able to file a personal injury claim in addition to a workers’ comp claim.
- Your employer has little to no workers’ compensation insurance: California requires all employers to provide workers’ compensation benefits to their employees. Failing to have this insurance is a misdemeanor crime. As such, you may be entitled to sue your employer in the event they have insufficient benefits available to you, or none at all.
- Your injury was caused by a third party: Let’s say you got injured by a defective product or toxic substance. Since the manufacturers and designers of such product or substance quite literally produced the thing that injured you, you could file a claim against these entities rather than your employer if circumstances call for it.
Keep in mind that these exceptions may not apply to your case. Every situation is different, so a good lawyer can analyze the details that lead to your injury and help you understand your available legal remedies. In most cases, injured employees can pursue benefits under workers’ compensation and move forward, but other times, these victims may be entitled to more.
Tedford & Associates represents clients throughout Pasadena and the surrounding areas. If you suffered an injury through no fault of your own or got injured while at work, let us know. We may be able to help you recover maximum compensation. To get started, give us a call at (626) 325-0142!