Workers’ compensation laws are supposed to make it easier for an employee to receive medical care and other benefits after an on-the-job injury. In exchange for the simplified process of filing a claim, injured workers are not able to receive the full amount of compensation that might be available in a personal injury claim filed in the civil court system. Some situations, however, may involve both workers’ compensation benefits and personal injury claims. Many construction accident cases fall in this hybrid category. The experienced Orange County workers’ compensation attorneys at Howard Law, P.C., can help you navigate the complexities that may be involved in a construction accident case in Southern California.
Regarding a workers’ compensation claim, an employee who is hurt on the job may file a claim for benefits that include medical care, temporary or permanent disability benefits, and vocational retraining. Such benefits are usually paid by the employer’s workers’ compensation insurance carrier, although the law allows some employers to insure themselves. Medical care benefits include emergency care, doctor visits, treatment services, tests, medicines, equipment, and travel costs. However, to be considered compensable, such costs must be “reasonably necessary” to treat the injury. An injured employee is not necessarily entitled to see their regular physician for a work-related injury, but this may be possible if the employee predesignated their personal physician or medical group before the injury occurred.Pursuing Additional Remedies After a Construction Accident
Because of the nature of construction work, there may be multiple employers, contractors, subcontractors, and others on a job site at any given time. When a certain worker is hurt, it may sometimes be difficult to determine the “employer” for the purpose of filing a workers’ compensation claim. It may be that there are several businesses or even individuals who may be considered an employer in any given case. Due to the exclusive remedy provisions of California workers’ compensation laws, any entity that may be considered an injured worker’s employer is protected from liability for compensation other than that available under workers’ compensation laws.
Sometimes, however, an injured employee may be able to pursue both a workers’ compensation claim and a civil negligence lawsuit. This may happen when the negligence or recklessness of someone other than the employer or a co-worker employed by the same employer caused or contributed to the accident that hurt the claimant. In such cases, the employee may be able to file suit against the third party, seeking both economic damages (like lost wages and medical expenses) and non-economic damages, such as pain and suffering. While the compensation available in such a case may be significant, the burden of proof is on the employee to establish the elements of a negligence claim, and a resulting settlement or judgment may be subject to a subrogation claim from the employer to recover benefits paid to the employee in a workers’ compensation action.Contact a Knowledgeable Orange County Attorney for a Workers’ Compensation Claim
Construction accident cases may be complicated and protracted. Notice requirements and statutes of limitations may limit an employee’s time to take legal action. It is critical to seek knowledgeable legal counsel as soon as possible after such an accident. If you or a family member needs reliable legal advice from a results-driven Orange County workers’ compensation lawyer, Howard Law, P.C., can help. Call us at (800) 872-5925 or contact us online to set up your free appointment. We represent people who need a workers’ compensation or personal injury lawyer in Anaheim, Santa Ana, Los Angeles, San Diego, San Bernardino, Long Beach, Pomona, and Riverside, as well as other cities in Orange, Los Angeles, San Diego, San Bernardino, and Riverside Counties.