Riverside Workplace Injury Attorneys
Helping Southern California Workers Injured on the Job Get the Medical Care and Compensation They Are Due
There are any number of ways that you can suffer an injury at work. You can slip and fall in the office hallway, get stuck in an elevator collapse, or suffer an industrial accident involving a piece of heavy machinery. Whether you work on a construction site, at a grocery store, or in an office, if you are injured at work you are entitled to compensation. Depending upon the circumstances surrounding your workplace injury, you might be entitled to workers’ compensation, personal injury damages, or a combination of the two.
If you were hurt on the job in Southern California, the experienced workplace injury legal team at Ochoa & Calderón is ready to help. We’ll fight to ensure you get the maximum benefits possible, and we’ll help you explore any and all avenues for compensation. We’ll make sure you get the medical care, wage replacement benefits, and other compensation you are due.
Every California employer is required to carry workers’ compensation insurance. Workers’ comp protects workers in the event of a workplace accident regardless of the cause of the workers’ injury. Whether the worker was injured by a coworker, inclement weather, lax safety equipment, or even the worker’s own mistake, they are protected. There are limited exceptions to coverage, such as when the worker injures themselves on purpose, but aside from those limited exceptions, workers are guaranteed workers’ comp protection. Injured workers do not need to prove that anyone was negligent in connection with their injury; they need only prove that the accident happened at work or while performing job-related duties.
Workers’ comp provides several benefits, including:
- Medical care. Workers’ comp will pay for all reasonably necessary medical treatment and care, including treatments, surgery, medication, physical therapy, chiropractic treatments, and other related costs of medical care.
- Wage replacement. Injured workers who are unable to work can collect two-thirds of their typical wages for up to two years.
- Workers who suffer a permanent disability can collect permanent disability benefits, the amount of which depends upon the nature and severity of the disability.
- Job displacement benefits.
- Death benefits. If a worker is killed on the job, their spouse, children, or other dependents can collect certain death benefits including burial expenses and temporary disability benefits.
Third-Party Liability for Workplace Injuries
For the most part, workers’ comp is the exclusive recourse for injured workers to recover compensation from their employers. Workers’ comp is beneficial because the worker is entitled to benefits no matter who caused the accident, outside of very limited exceptions (e.g., intoxication, criminal behavior, intentional injury). The drawback to workers’ comp is that the damages are more limited: Injured workers can only recover a portion of their lost wages, coverage for their medical bills, and certain other disability-related benefits. Injured workers cannot recover compensation for their pain and suffering or other damages.
In a typical personal injury claim, the injured victim is not so limited. They can recover damages for their pain and suffering, emotional distress, loss of life enjoyment, and other non-economic harms. Accident victims injured at work may be able to bring a standard personal injury case if the person that caused their injury does not work for the same employer. So long as an outside party or third party caused your injuries, you can seek damages just as you would in any other personal injury case.
Common examples of third parties who may be liable after a workplace accident include:
- Industrial equipment manufacturers
- Contractors and subcontractors
- Negligent drivers
- Criminal assailants
For example, if you were on a delivery for work and you were hit by a drunk driver, you would have every right to pursue damages against that driver, even though you were on the job at the time of your accident. Your workers’ comp insurance provider might be entitled to a portion of your victim–repayment for your medical bills they already covered, for example–but you’ll be able to recover more damages overall. Talk to an experienced California workplace injury lawyer who handles both workers’ compensation and personal injury claims to find out if you have legal rights outside of workers’ comp.
Riverside Workplace Injury Lawyers Ready to Work for You
For help getting benefits after an on-the-job injury or workplace illness, call Ochoa & Calderón to discuss your case with a skillful, trial-ready California workplace injury lawyer. Call 951-901-4444 in Riverside or 844-401-0750 toll-free throughout Southern California.