San Diego Lawyers For Job Site Accidents
Padilla Law Group, LLP, provides representation to individuals who have suffered injuries or families who have lost loved ones in accidents on job sites.
In most cases, injured workers and their families are covered by California workers’ compensation offered through their employers’ insurance companies. Our lawyers can help you secure your workers’ compensation benefits, but we can take your case to the litigation level, as well.
Third-Party Work Injury Claims
Under California workers’ compensation laws, when injured workers apply for benefits, the employer is relieved of further liability for negligence damages, except under very specific circumstances. However, there may be other negligent parties who directly contributed to the cause of the accident or the severity of the injuries, such as the manufacturer of the defective tools or equipment or a job site owner who created unsafe conditions.
We call them “third parties” because they are neither the claimant nor the employer. Injured workers often have the option of suing one or more negligent third parties for additional financial damages over and above the workers’ compensation wage and medical benefits. Third-party claims, in fact, are the only way for an injured worker to receive any compensation for the pain and suffering associated with the injuries.
What Are The Most Common Types Of Job Site Accidents?
There are countless ways to get injured on a construction site or job site, but the most common types of accidents include:
- Falls from height
- Electric shock injuries
- Workers getting body parts caught in machinery or equipment
- Being struck by falling or swinging objects such as tools and debris
- Being struck by vehicles (especially common at road construction sites)
- Explosions and burn injuries
- Wall, ground and trench collapses
- Slip-and-fall accidents
The list above is far from complete, but it accounts for most job site accidents that result in injury or death.
Why Doesn’t Workers’ Comp Pay For Pain And Suffering?
Workers’ compensation was designed to make it easier for injured workers to get compensated without having to prove fault, while giving employers some immunity from lawsuits in exchange for providing benefits. As such, the benefits are focused on economic damages like lost wages and medical bills.
There are some inherent trade-offs with workers’ compensation, and noneconomic damages like pain and suffering are among the things that were lost in pursuit of a streamlined compensation process. If you were injured at work and file a personal injury lawsuit against a party other than your employer, however, you typically can seek compensation for pain and suffering.
How Does Workers’ Comp Affect A Personal Injury Case?
If you were injured on the job and also had a personal injury claim against a third party, you would be unlikely to suffer any negative consequences from pursuing both workers’ compensation benefits and a lawsuit at the same time. In fact, pursuing both would be more likely to result in the complete compensation you need and deserve, because personal injury lawsuits allow you to seek damages that are not available under the workers’ compensation program.
How Do Third-Party Liability Lawsuits Work?
As discussed earlier on this page, you typically cannot sue your employer for your workplace accident because of legal protections built into workers’ comp laws. However, if you were injured on the job site by the negligence of someone other than your employer or a co-worker, you can pursue a personal injury claim against that third party.
Common examples of third-party liability at job sites include:
- Suing a tool manufacturer for faulty equipment that caused an accident and injuries
- Suing a different contractor at the site for the negligent actions of their employees
- Suing a site visitor or passerby for causing an accident, such as a car accident at a road construction site
To learn whether you have a potential third-party liability claim, it is very helpful to consult with an experienced personal injury and workers’ compensation attorney.
Injured In A Work-Related Accident? Our Attorneys Are Here To Help.
If you were injured at work in the San Diego metropolitan area, call our offices to speak with one of our attorneys. We offer a free consultation to review your case and explain your legal options.