Injured Workers May Have Both Workers Compensation and Personal Injury Claims
When a worker in Los Angeles, or anywhere in California, is injured while acting in the course and scope of his or her employment, the injuries may give rise to a "workers compensation claim". An injured worker is entitled to certain workers compensation benefits regardless of who was at fault in causing the injuries. The benefits may include:
- Medical care;
- Temporary disability benefits;
- Permanent disability benefits,
- Supplemental job displacement benefits;
- Death benefits
Unfortunately, workers compensation benefits DO NOT include money for physical pain or emotional distress, which often are the most significant damages an injured worker can suffer. Further, even if the employer, or a co-employee, was negligent, or at fault in causing the on the job injury, usually the only type of claim the injured worker can legally bring against the employer is a workers compensation claim. This is commonly referred to as the "Workers Compensation Exclusivity Rule". A general civil personal injury claim for damages including physical pain and emotional distress cannot be brought against the employer, other than in limited situations discussed further below.
However, when a person or entity other than the injured worker's employer or co-employees (often referred to as a "third party") caused or contributed to the occurrence of the workplace injury, a separate civil personal injury claim seeking full damages including compensation for pain and emotional suffering, can be brought against the third party, in addition to the workers compensation claim brought against the employer.
The Los Angeles workplace injury attorneys of The Rudman Law Firm, APC have represented workers in personal injury claims against third parties for the entirety of their careers, which span over 60 years combined. Our practice is focused solely on representing victims injured in a wide variety of accident types, including, construction injuries, industrial equipment injuries which give rise to product liability cases, dangerous conditions of property which give rise to premises liability cases, car accidents, trucking accidents, pedestrian accidents and dog bites. We explore every avenue of recovery to obtain as much compensation as possible for the injured worker.
Workplace Injuries Which May Give Rise to Third Party Personal Injury Claims
According to a 2014 Workplace Study Index by Liberty Mutual Research Institute, among the leading causes of workplace injuries in 2012 were:
- Falls on same level
- Struck by object or equipment
- Falls to lower level
- Roadway incidents involving motorized land vehicles
- Caught in/compressed by equipment or objects
- Struck against object or equipment
When an accident of one of these types is caused or contributed to by the acts of a third party a potential personal injury claim may exist which can result in further compensation to the injured worker. Such third parties may include:
- A negligent worker employed by adifferent employer
- A manufacturer or independent repair/maintenance company that caused or allowed a product or industrial equipment to be dangerous and/or defective
- A negligent driver of a car or truck
- A premises owner that created or allowed a dangerous condition on their property
- A dog owner whose dog bites a worker
Having a Los Angeles personal injury lawyer evaluate the potential third party liability may be crucial to an injured worker receiving full and fair compensation.
Exceptions to the Workers Compensation Exclusivity Rule
There a number of exceptions to California's Workers Compensation Exclusivity Rule that allow an injured worker to sue his employer in a civil personal injury case, and pursue full damages including compensation for physical pain and emotional distress. Some of these exceptions arise in the following circumstances:
- If the employer is not insured for workers compensation claims
- Willful assault or imprisonment by the employer
- Aggravated injury caused by employer's fraudulent concealment
- Removal or non-installation of a power press guard
The Rudman Law Firm Can Help Navigate the Complexities of Workplace Injury Claims
The evaluation of third party or employer liability for a workplace injury is not at all straight forward. Neither are the issues which arise when an injured worker is pursuing both a workers compensation claim and a third party personal injury case. The lawyers at The Rudman Law Firm, APC have vast experience in this field and will spend the time necessary to explain to the injured worker the complexity of these cases, and derive a plan to seek maximum compensation for injuries and damages. Call for a free consultation with one of the attorneys of The Rudman Law Firm, APC at our Studio City office (818) 769-6969, Los Angeles office (213) 375-3777, or toll free at (844) 478-3626 / (844) 4RUDMAN. In addition to evaluating the third party claim, we can refer you to a workers compensation attorney.
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Title Tag: Los Angeles Wrongful Death Attorney | The Rudman Law Firm, APC
Meta Description: The Rudman Law Firm, APC is a wrongful death recovery law firm that helps your family through the difficult time following the loss of your loved one.
Helping Families of Accident Victims
As you grieve your tremendous loss, the last thing on your mind is a lawsuit. The Rudman Law Firm, APC understands that you are focused on grieving and supporting your family at this difficult time. Therefore, our attorneys and staff do everything we can to relieve the burden from you.
We show your family respect and privacy as we protect your rights. We preserve vital evidence and handle all the legal aspects of wrongful death compensation. Although we know that you can never be truly compensated for your devastating loss, our goal is to recover compensation so you can support and protect your family.
In addition, we hope our pursuit of justice in your case might prevent this tragedy from occurring to another family.
Pursuing a Wrongful Death Claim
Family members have standing to bring a wrongful death claim against the person or corporation responsible for your loved one's death. The order of precedence is similar to the right of succession under California inheritance laws. The spouse and children, and grandchildren if children are deceased, have first rights to file a claim for damages jointly and severally, meaning they share the damages. Parents are next in line to file a wrongful death lawsuit, then siblings. Next are the nieces and nephews if siblings are deceased, grandparents and then other relatives. Dependent minors may also have standing to sue.
A wrongful death claim is based on the underlying personal injury. To prevail, you must prove all elements of the personal injury and that your family member died as a result of the accident.
Just as in a personal injury case, your Los Angeles wrongful death attorney will strategically negotiate for the maximum possible settlement amount so you receive just compensation efficiently and cost-effectively. However, we are ready to take your claim to trial to demand your rightful damages if we believe you can reach better results in the courtroom.
Wrongful Death Damages
The damages our Los Angeles wrongful death attorneys pursue depend upon your individual circumstances, but may include:
- Funeral and burial costs
- Hospital and medical bills related to your loved one's injuries
- Lost wages resulting from the accident
- Lost future earnings of your loved one
- Loss of your future inheritance
- Healthcare, pensions and other benefits your loved one would have provided to you
- Loss of love, affection, companionship, friendship, guidance, training and advice
- Loss of services, including childcare, accounting, security, cooking and cleaning
Recover After the Loss of Your Loved One
The Rudman Law Firm, APC can assist your family with recovering damages for the wrongful death of your loved one. We offer you a free, no-risk case evaluation and consultation.
Schedule an appointment in our Los Angeles office at (213) 375-3777 or at our Studio City office at (818) 769-6969 or call us toll free at (844) 478-3626 / (844) 4RUDMAN. Your case is handled under a contingency arrangement, which means we do not charge for attorneys' fees until we have recovered damages.