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”.
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.
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.
Personal Injury Law: What Should I Do When I Am Injured at Work?
When you have been injured at work, you may have no idea where to begin in the process of filing a claim against your employer. You should be aware that your employer may be liable for the injuries that you have suffered at work. A lawyer from a personal injury law firm can help you begin the process of filing a worker’s compensation claim.
You should meet with a lawyer soon after your injury has occurred. Some people make the mistake of waiting until years after the accident has occurred to get in touch with a lawyer. If you do this, you may miss the deadline for the filing of your case. You only have a limited number of years to file your case after you have been injured. If you wait too long to file your case, then your case may be automatically dismissed by the court for violating the statute of limitations. Because courts are so bogged down with legal cases, many courts have no problem in simply dismissing a case to clear out the docket.
Meeting with a personal injury lawyer will help you decide how much money you will be able to receive for your injuries. You may want to know what the total amount of compensation will be before you choose to participate in physical therapy or other treatments that may not be wholly necessary for the treatment of your injury. A personal injury lawyer can analyze your case and determine a basic amount that your claim can be settled for in the future. Knowing this amount, you may feel more comfortable in immediately beginning physical therapy treatments to rehabilitate yourself.
When you are injured at work, it is also essential to gather as much documentation as possible. If you are able to file an accident report with the human resources department for your company, then you should go ahead and do this. You want to be sure that there is a record of your injury happening in the workplace. Also, you should try to take photos of your injury to make sure that you can collect damages for your injury.
Depending on the severity of your injury, you may also want to call an ambulance to take you to the hospital. This way, your injuries will also have a medical record. Even if you are not sure whether the injury was entirely your employer’s fault, you should still consider calling an ambulance so that you can fill out the medical report. If you do decide to file a lawsuit against your employer in the upcoming months, then you will be able to access the medical report and provide it to your lawyer. Your lawyer will be able to admit the medical report into evidence at trial, and the jury will be able to better understand the extent of your injuries at the time of the accident.
You should never wait to get in touch with a lawyer. Most initial consultations are free, and you will not have to pay anything to a personal injury law firm until after your case has been settled.
San Diego Personal Injury Lawyer near you:
[pw_map address=”San Diego” key=”AIzaSyCMfNiQv_tIPqj2EXx8y91I2kyzlwsHv_4″]