Padilla Law Group, LLP

Errant driver crashes into mechanic shop, injuring worker

Workplace accidents can take many shapes. Most commonly we think of on the job injuries being suffered in accidents that are directly related to work duties being performed. For example, warehouse workers may suffer an injury after being crushed or pinned by a forklift, while construction workers may be harmed from a scaffolding fall or and collapsing trench. While these types of situations are certainly common, they are not the only way that a workplace injury can be suffered.

To see an example of another way these instances can occur, one need only look at a recent accident in California that left an auto mechanic with injuries. Reports indicate that a driver lost control of her vehicle, causing her to strike two parked cars. After that, she steered her car into a car repair shop. Her vehicle then struck a car lift that just happened to be holding a vehicle in the air while mechanics worked on it. Debris from the collision struck one of the mechanics.

As a result of the accident, the mechanic was taken to the hospital. His injuries are not considered serious, but it is unclear at this time the exact extent of his harm. Far too often in workplace accidents, victims are left with injuries that are painful, costly to treat, and that leave them out of work for a certain period of time. This means that their lost wages and medical expenses often throw them into financial turmoil.

Although those who are injured at work while performing their job duties may qualify for workers' compensation, this program may not provide enough benefits to cover the extent of one's financial losses. If negligence contributed to the victim's injuries, as seems to be the case here, then a third-party claim may also be justified to supplement a workers' compensation claim.

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