When you suffer an injury at work it can affect every aspect of your life. Your injury may require extensive medical care and may even force you to take time off from work. You will need to be compensated for your injuries to care for yourself and your family. Fortunately, if you have suffered a workplace accident injury in San Diego you can recover compensation from your employer or a negligent third party.
Contact Injury Trial Lawyers, APC for information about how you can recover compensation for your workplace accident injury. Our attorneys have more than 35 years of combined legal experience and know how to get you the money you need and deserve. We have handled thousands of complex personal injury matters, including those for workplace accident injuries. Call our San Diego workplace accident injury attorneys today to schedule a free consultation. We will review your case, determine potential liability, and explain the steps that are involved with filing a claim.
Workplace Accidents in San Diego
Workplace accidents, injuries, and illnesses are incredibly common. In 2013, there were more than 4.8 million reported workplace accident injuries in the United States. That same year, another 3,800 American workers were killed because of workplace accidents and illnesses. Workers who are employed in certain industries and fields are at a greater risk of being involved in a workplace accident. Statistics show that the following industries result in the greatest number of workplace accident injuries each year:
- Warehousing, and
The majority of workplace accident victims are employed by private companies. In fact, 78% of workplace injuries affect private-sector employees.
Causes of San Diego Workplace Accidents
Workplace accidents can happen for a variety of reasons. According to the National Safety Council, the leading causes of workplace accidents include:
- Bodily reactions to workplace environments;
- Contact with an object or equipment; and
- Slips, trips, and falls.
Other commonly cited causes of workplace accidents, injuries, and illnesses include fume inhalation, equipment malfunctions, inadequate training, and chemical exposure.
San Diego Workplace Accident Injuries
Workplace accidents can cause you to suffer serious and life-threatening injuries. Our San Diego workplace accident lawyers have successfully helped workers recover compensation for on-the-job injuries including:
- Broken bones and fractures,
- Lacerations and cut,
- Vision and hearing impairment,
- Traumatic brain injury,
- Spinal cord injury,
- Amputation, and
- Wrongful death.
Recovering Damages After Your San Diego Workplace Accident
If you have suffered an on-the-job injury you may be able to recover monetary compensation from your employer or a negligent third party. The type of damages you recover will depend on:
- Which party is legally responsible for causing your workplace accident and injury, and
- The specific harms you have suffered as a result of your injury.
Employer vs. Third Party Liability
It is important to determine if your employer, a third party, or both are responsible for your workplace accident.
Employer Liability and Workers’ Compensation. If your employer is responsible you will likely want to submit a claim for workers’ compensation benefits. Employers in the state of California are legally required to carry workers’ compensation insurance in case a worker is injured at work. Claims for workers’ compensation benefits must be filed shortly after your accident. Failure to file a claim, or notify your employer of your injury, could prevent you from receiving benefits.
When you do receive workers’ compensation benefits you waive your right to file a personal injury claim against your employer. However, there is an exception to this rule. You can seek additional damages by filing a personal injury claim if you can prove that your employer engaged in serious and willful misconduct.
Third Party Liability. If someone other than your employer is responsible for your accident and injuries you can pursue compensation by filing a personal injury claim. For example, if you were injured at work because of a defective ladder you may be able to recover damages from the ladder’s manufacturer. Companies that design, manufacturer, and/or sell products can be held liable for injuries that are caused by those products.
Workers’ Compensation and Personal Injury Damages. In California, more than one person can be liable for your injuries. If you believe that your employer and a third party are both responsible for your injuries you can pursue a claim for workers’ compensation benefits and a personal injury claim for damages.
Economic & Non-Economic Damages
When you suffer an injury on the job you may be able to recover both economic and non-economic damages. Economic damages are awarded to compensate you for verifiable financial losses that you incur because of your workplace accident. These damages can be awarded to compensate you for medical expenses, lost wages, and reduced earning capacity.
Non-economic damages are awarded to compensate you for emotional, psychological, and physical injuries that are difficult to value. These damages can be awarded to compensate you for pain and suffering, emotional distress, embarrassment, disfigurement, and loss of enjoyment of life.
It is important to note that if you are requesting workers’ compensation benefits you may face restrictions and limitations on the damages you can recover. For example, non-economic damages (pain and suffering, physical pain, etc.) are not generally recoverable under workers’ compensation law. You can, however, request these damages if you pursue a personal injury claim for damages.
Each case is unique, and it is best to have an experienced San Diego personal injury attorney review your situation to determine which damages you may be able to receive. Contact Injury Trial Lawyers, APC today to set up a free consultation.
Time Limits on Workplace Accident Claims
You will have a limited amount of time to file a claim for damages regardless of who is responsible for your accident. However, the specific time constraints in your case will depend on who is responsible for your workplace accident.
Workers’ Compensation Time Limits in California
If your employer is responsible, and you decide to file a claim for workers’ compensation benefits, you must report your workplace injury to your employer within 30 days. Once you have reported your injury to your employer you must file the Employee’s Claim for Workers’ Compensation Benefits and the Application for Adjudication of Claim forms within one year of your workplace accident. If there is a reasonable delay in the discovery of your workplace-related injury or illness, you will have one year from the date of this discovery to file a claim.
Statute of Limitations for Personal Injury Claims
If you decide to file a personal injury claim for damages you will have two years from the date of your accident to do so. Once the statute of limitations expires you will be prevented from getting the money you need and deserve. However, there are limited exceptions to this rule. The statute of limitations for your personal injury case may be extended if:
- There is a reasonable delay in the discovery of your injury,
- You are a minor at the time of the accident, or
- The at-fault party is unavailable due to incarceration.
If you want to file a claim against the government you must do so within 6 months of your workplace injury. The government will review this special administrative claim and must either approve or deny your request within 45 days. If your administrative claim is denied you will have 6 months to file a civil claim in a San Diego County court.
Contact an Experienced San Diego Workplace Accident Attorney
Have you suffered an injury because of a workplace accident in San Diego? You may be entitled to recover workers’ compensation benefits or damages from a negligent third party. Call Injury Trial Lawyers, APC to find out how we can make sure that you are fairly compensated for your injuries. We have more than 35 years of combined legal experience and know important a settlement or award can be. We will fight to hold the at-fault party accountable and maximize the compensation you receive. Call us today to schedule a free consultation and learn more.