I was injured at work, but another company's worker caused my injury. Who's responsible for my injuries?
There are multiple answers to that question. First, whenever you are injured at work, you are usually entitled to received workers' compensation. These benefits include medical treatment and temporary disability benefits if you are missing time from work. Workers' compensation benefits are the responsibility of your employer and its insurance carrier. The benefits owed by workers' compensation are set by law, and are limited. For example, there are no pain and suffering benefits in workers' compensation (also known as "noneconomic damages"). If your injury is so serious that you cannot return to your trade, workers' compensation offers little to nothing to compensate you for your harm and losses. With a few exceptions, you cannot file an injury lawsuit against your employer as long as it has workers' compensation insurance. However, if your injury was caused by another company, you may have a "third party claim" against that company, and that other company would be responsible for the damages it causes you. Third party claims do not have the same limitations as workers' compensation claims. For example, third party claims allow for future wage loss, and for any non-economic damages, which are not allowed in workers' compensation. Accordingly, third party claims have a lot more potential to provide a recovery closer to what you lose when you're seriously injured on the job. If you have been injured on the job, it is important for your to consult with an attorney that understands your rights under workers' compensation laws, and understands how to determine whether any third party may share responsibility for your injuries.
-Zachariah Hansen, The Arns Law Firm, San Francisco, CA
For more information on work-site accidents and
your legal options, visit the ARNS Website.
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This Month's Expert; Zachariah Hansen
Zachariah Hansen has proven himself as an indefatigable litigator who has obtained outstanding results for the clients of The Arns Law Firm. Zach was actually a student in Bob Arns’ trial practice class at the University of San Francisco Law School for 3rd year law students. After the class was completed, Bob was so impressed with Zach’s ability, great heart for the cause, and calm demeanor in the heat of battle, he offered Zach a job. Zach has been dedicating his legal career to helping people who have been injured obtain the compensation they deserve.