Riverside Work Injury Lawyer
When you’re reeling from a workplace injury or illness, the last thing that you need is a legal headache. Unfortunately, protecting your rights while deciphering the dos and don’ts of obtaining the care and compensation that you deserve for a work injury can be difficult. An experienced Riverside work injury lawyer can help you identify your options, select your best course and secure the maximum compensation.
What Are Workplace Injuries?
Employees have the right to a safe workplace, and employers have a legal responsibility to provide one. Sometimes, things go wrong, and an accident leads to a sudden injury. In other cases, the damage develops over time. Workplace injuries can include everything from deaths, broken bones and amputations to repetitive motion conditions, sprains and strains, and occupational illnesses. Psychological injuries and aggravations of pre-existing conditions can also fall into this category.
Why can so many different kinds of injuries be classified as work injuries? Job-related injuries are not defined by the nature of the injury. What makes an injury a work injury is the fact that it occurred while the individual was on the job.
On-the-Job Injuries by the Numbers
How common are work injuries? According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics, some 2.8 million nonfatal work injuries and illnesses were reported in 2017. This works out to a rate of 2.8 cases per 100 full-time equivalent workers. Of those incidents, 882,730 resulted in days of missed work.
What about work injuries resulting in deaths? Sadly, more than 5,100 fatal injuries were reported in 2017. This is a fatal injury rate of 3.5 per 100,000 full-time equivalent workers.
An Injured Employee’s Legal Rights
What rights do injured employees have? There are several:
- Injured employees have the right to seek appropriate medical treatment.
- Injured employees have the right to pursue a workers’ compensation claim for their injury or illness.
- Injured employees have the right to return to their job if released to do so by their physician.
- Injured employees have the right to disability compensation if they are unable to return to work either temporarily or permanently because of a work injury.
- Injured employees have the right to appeal decisions made by their employers, the insurance company or the workers’ compensation court.
- Injured employees have the right to be represented by a work injury attorney.
What Is Workers’ Compensation?
Workers’ compensation is a system designed to help workers receive the compensation that they deserve for job-related injuries without litigation. Basically, employers are required by law to carry workers’ compensation insurance. If an employee is injured at work, they submit a claim. Then, the insurance company should step in to provide them with wage replacement while they are unable to work, to cover their medical expenses, and to compensate them for any current or future economic loss. Typically, it is unnecessary for employees to prove fault to receive benefits.
Workers’ compensation offers a valuable safety net, but it comes at a cost. While there are a few exceptions, employees injured while on the job are generally not allowed to sue their employer for negligence. They also cannot collect for pain and suffering or punitive damages.
What Are Third-party Accident Claims?
While employees are generally barred from suing their employers for a workplace accident, seeking compensation through the courts from other parties who may be a fault is possible. If an on-the-job injury is a result of a defective product, the injured employee has the option of filing a lawsuit against the product’s manufacturer or supplier. Called a third-party accident claim, this type of action does not affect the employee’s workers’ compensation benefits and can be pursued concurrently with any workers’ compensation claim.
Third-party accident claims allow injured workers to seek redress for various types of damages. They can request compensation for things like pain and suffering, past and future medical expenses, property damage, loss of earnings, and loss of future earning capacity.
What to Do If You Suffer a Work Injury
What should you do if you are injured at work? Start by reporting your injury to your employer immediately. Failure to do so can leave you vulnerable to accusations that your injury did not occur at work. Then, seek any necessary medical assistance. Your personal medical coverage will not pay for treatment for work-related injuries, but workers’ compensation should. Be sure to follow the proper procedures for reporting and documenting your injury and treatment. If you are unsure about how to proceed or feel like you are being treated unfairly, reach out to a skilled work injury lawyer immediately.
Hiring a Work Injury Attorney
If you have a straightforward claim that is proceeding smoothly, you may be able to manage without legal assistance. However, there are times when you definitely want a lawyer on your side. If your situation involves injuries that are not obviously work-related, permanent disability, the need for extensive medical treatment, lengthy periods out of work, then it’s time to hire an experienced work injury attorney. They can help you protect your rights and argue your case effectively so that you receive the maximum compensation.
If a job-related injury or illness has you searching for a skilled work injury lawyer, turn to the professionals at Rizio Liberty Lipinsky. With decades of experience in fighting for California’s workers, we’re ready to help you secure all the compensation that you deserve. Contact us today to arrange for a free consultation at our Riverside office.
- This article should only be used for informational purposes. It does not constitute legal advice, and it does not create an attorney-client relationship with anyone. If you need legal advice, please consult an attorney in your community.