Most people leave for work in the morning without worrying about getting injured while at work that day. Though some occupations are inherently dangerous, such as law enforcement and rescue personnel, the rest of us don’t anticipate serious injuries while at work; yet, they happen all the time. Serious workplace accidents occur far more often than most people realize, particularly in certain industries such as transportation, manufacturing, healthcare and construction. If you have been injured in an industrial accident in San Diego or Riverside, or have lost a family member to one, you could be entitled to compensation for your injuries or your loss through a traditional personal injury lawsuit. This compensation may be in addition to, or in lieu of, any workers’ compensation benefits to which you may be entitled.
A workplace accident can occur to anyone in any industry; however, the transportation industry followed by the construction industry consistently has the most workplace fatalities each year according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, or BLS. The healthcare industry, however, has a higher rate of injury than either the transportation or construction industry. Regardless of what industry you are in, if you are injured while on the job you could be entitled to compensation from a third party lawsuit, something many injured workers do not realize.
Injured workers may be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits if injured on the job without proving fault on the part of the employer, or anyone else for that matter. Unfortunately though, workers’ compensation benefits often fall short of actually compensating an injured victim. Moreover, workers ‘compensation benefits do not provide compensation for pain and suffering caused by the accident. A third party lawsuit can provide additional wage replacement benefits, medical treatment coverage, and pain and suffering compensation if you have the basis for a lawsuit.
Except in rare cases, you cannot sue your employer for injuries sustained in an industrial accident. Workers’ compensation is the exclusive remedy. If, however, your employer’s conduct was intentional or particularly egregious you might be able to file a traditional lawsuit based on negligence. In addition, if a third party caused, or contributed to, your injuries you can pursue compensation from the third party through a traditional negligence lawsuit. For example, if you were injured on a construction site where multiple companies were working at the same time and an employee from another company’s negligence caused the accident, you could pursue third party compensation.
Because the laws relating to industrial accidents are complex and ever-changing it is best to consult with an experienced San Diego or Riverside industrial accident attorney if you were injured while at work.