Your employer is required by California state law to pay for workers’ compensation benefits if you’ve been hurt on the job. Worker’s compensation is intended to protect both you and your employer, to make sure that you are fairly compensated while avoiding the expense of litigation.
However, there are some circumstances in which you may be entitled to seek compensation through a personal injury lawsuit.
If you have been injured at work, either by a sudden accident or an accumulation of symptoms leading to a diagnosis, the first thing you must do is report the injury to your employer. They are required to supply you with a worker’s compensation claim form within 24 hours. If you wait longer than 30 days to file the claim, it may have a negative effect on your ability to collect benefits. Also be sure to visit a doctor, and document every stage of your situation. Finally, consult a work injury lawyer to see how to proceed if legal action is needed.
When You Might Have a Personal Injury Case
The overlap between worker’s compensation and a personal injury lawsuit is that both are methods of providing you with compensation after an injury. Worker’s comp benefits are capped according to state law, but are generally fairly easy to get.
Thanks to the Law Offices of Frank Penney I was able to pay off all medical expenses and still had a little to spare.” -Andrea G., Lincoln, Ca.
In a personal injury lawsuit, some form of negligence must be proven — but if you do have a legitimate case, you may be able to collect higher compensation. You may have a case if your injury was caused by:
- intentional misconduct by your employer or another employee
- your employer’s egregious conduct
- the negligence of a third party
- a defective product
- a toxic substance
In addition, you may seek compensation for a workplace accident through a personal injury lawsuit when your employer has failed to carry worker’s compensation insurance, despite his requirement to do so under California labor law.
When to Contact a Work Injury Attorney
You should contact an attorney if any of the above circumstances seem to apply to you, even if you are uncertain. Our offices offer a free consultation, and you never pay legal fees unless we win your case. Read what some of our clients have to say!