You may find yourself in a position where you have been injured in an accident while working. There are many types of injuries and remedies that a victim may face in this situation. It is important to know that you can and should always speak with an experienced car accident attorney to know your rights.
Below, we will discuss what to do if you are injured while working by someone that is not employed by your same employer. We are focusing on workers’ compensation and personal injury third party claims.
Options? Do I Have Any?
There is no straightforward response for every work-related accident injury. Generally, in California, if you are injured while working you are entitled to worker’s compensation benefits. In addition to a workers’ compensation claim, you may also be entitled to a personal injury claim. This is what is commonly called a “third-party case.
A typical scenario of a work-related third-party accident is an auto accident while working. Let’s say your employer asks you to go to the bank and make a company deposit. While driving to the bank, you are rear ended by another vehicle. At this point, if you were injured in this accident, you would have a worker’s compensation claim plus you might have a third-party civil case accident the driver/vehicle that rear ended you.
For California worker’s compensation cases: First, you need to establish AOE/COE. AOE stands for “arising out of employment” and COE stands for during the “course of employment.” To be eligible to receive workers’ compensation benefits it must be shown that your injury or illness both arises out of employment and occurs during the course of employment. In a bit simpler term, it basically means you must have been working at the time of accident.
Below is a list of the most common benefits that are available to California workers injured in accidents:
- Temporary Disability Benefits: Temporary total disability (TTD) payments are usually two-thirds of the wages you were earning before you were injured. There is a maximum amount of TTD dollar benefits per week.
- Permanent Disability Benefits: Permanent disability (PD) is usually any lasting disability from your work injury or illness that affects your ability to earn a living. If your injury or illness results in PD you are entitled to PD benefits, even if you are able to go back to work.
- Medical Care: California workers’ compensation law requires claims administrators to authorize and pay for medical care that is reasonably required to cure or relieve the effects of the work-related injury.
A third-party case potentially provides completely different benefits including potential pain and suffering and wage loss benefits.
When you are involved in a work-related accident with a third party, you should strongly consider speaking to a law firm that understands both type of cases. There are numerous issues including offsets and credits that may occur since you have two types of potential recovery. In addition, there might be reimbursement issues. A good law firm that understands the workers’ compensation system while knowing the civil laws should be able to help you or direct you to someone that can.
Is There Someone That I Can Talk To?
If you have been injured in an accident while working, you may be wondering who can support you as you try to figure out your options. Regardless of your injury, it would be smart to speak with an experienced accident lawyer. Two of the most common ways to find the right law firm to represent you.
1) Talk to a trusted friend or family member. Beside proving emotional support, they may be able to provide information about a good referral for you.
2) Search the Internet: Do your own due diligence. Reach out to a national or local organization law firm focused on accident claims. You can ask them about their experiences in handling workers’ compensation cases and the type of civil case you have (auto accident, construction site accident, etc).
Many people that have been injured in an accident are scared and uncomfortable dealing with the situation. Many people simply do not know what to do next. If you find the right law firm to represent you, many of your fears and uncomfortableness should be removed. You should be allowed to focus on receiving the appropriate medical care and getting better.