Personal Injury Case Evaluation
Creative and Resourceful Case Evaluation and Investigation May Reveal Third-Party Liability for Workplace Incidents
I’m Ed Smith, an experienced Sacramento Workers’ Compensation Lawyer. A thorough personal injury case evaluation is a necessity. Workers’ compensation laws have provided many benefits to injured workers in California. But these benefits come at a cost. A worker injured or who becomes ill while on the job is able to apply for and (in many cases) receive workers’ compensation benefits without having to prove fault or responsibility. This means injured workers are able to receive compensation for their injuries quicker than they might if they were forced to file a personal injury lawsuit. It is crucial to have an experienced lawyer on your side who will perform a thorough personal injury case evaluation for you.
Disadvantages of Workers’ Compensation Claims
These benefits come at a cost, however. First, the benefits available to workers are often capped at certain time and/or monetary limits. In other words, the benefits a worker receives through a workers’ compensation claim may not be sufficient to fully compensate the injured worker for all of his or her losses. For example, in some cases any wages the worker misses on account of his or her workplace injury may only be a percentage of the actual wages the worker is accustomed to receiving. What is more, in exchange for the ability to receive workers’ compensation benefits the injured worker is prevented from filing a lawsuit against his or her employer or coworker for any negligence of the employer or coworker that contributed to the injury accident.
Third-Party Lawsuits are Permissible
The key, then, to recovering the maximum amount of compensation for an injured worker requires the worker’s attorney to carefully and thoroughly investigate the workplace accident to uncover whether a third-party was also negligent and contributed to the accident. While an injured worker cannot file suit against his or her employer or coworker except in cases of deliberate and egregious behavior, nothing prevents the injured worker from filing a personal injury lawsuit against a negligent third-party. A thorough investigation may reveal that one or more third-parties may be liable for the worker’s injury:
- A contractor or employee of another company may have been the proximate cause that triggered the series of events that ended in the worker being injured;
- A manufacturer of a machine or substance may have negligently designed a machine or tool so as to render that machine dangerous to the worker. Or the manufacturer of a toxic substance may have improperly or inadequately labeled the product’s container so that the worker was unaware of how dangerous the substance actually was;
- The owner of the property on which the workplace injury occurred may have unreasonably allowed a dangerous condition to exist on the property which caused the worker’s injury accident (such as a slip and fall caused by ice or snow left on a tile floor);
- Medical personnel who treated the worker’s injuries may have committed malpractice by providing substandard care. In doing so, the medical worker may have either caused additional injuries to the worker or may have exacerbated the injuries the worker received in his or her workplace accident.
Determining whether a third-party is responsible for causing or contributing to an injured worker’s injuries and losses is not always an easy task. This is why it is so important to have an attorney perform a personal injury case evaluation. A creative and resourceful attorney should be able to investigate the circumstances of the injury accident and uncover any evidence of third-party liability. Call today for a personal injury case evaluation.
Call for your Personal Injury Case Evaluation
Ed Smith is among the members of Million Dollar Advocates Forum.
Photo Attribution: By Autoaccident.com (Edward A. Smith)