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Construction site accidentIn 2020, private industry employers reported 2.7 million occupational injuries and illnesses to the federal government. This number does not account for any work-related injuries or illnesses that went unreported, nor does it account for any work-related injuries or illnesses that local, state, and federal workers experienced. Finally, it is worth noting that this statistic is associated with the year of the Covid-19 pandemic that was (by far) the most “shut down.” In any other year, far more workers would likely suffer injuries on the job because so many Americans were working from home or not working at all in 2020. 

This staggering statistic illustrates that if you’ve recently suffered work-related injuries or an occupational illness has impacted you, you’re certainly not alone. You risk occupational harm if you work in construction, healthcare, education, or retail. Don’t be swayed by cultural pressures that insist you “tough it out” while medical bills mount and lost wages impact your family’s finances. For you and the millions of other American workers (both documented and undocumented) who are hurt on the job each year, legal protections and compensation programs exist for a reason. 

Workers’ Compensation Benefits

The workers’ compensation system is not generally concerned with why injuries occurred or whose fault it was that they happened. The primary questions the workers’ compensation system is preoccupied with are: (1) Is the injury victim eligible for workers’ compensation benefits? and (2) Is the injury in question work-related? If the answer to both of these questions is “Yes,” an injury victim is usually entitled to benefits, regardless of how they were hurt or made ill. Harm related to trauma, repetitive stress, toxic exposure, and other work-related conditions qualifies an employee for benefits. 

If you’re unsure whether you’re eligible for workers’ compensation benefits, that’s okay. Most part-time and full-time employees in California are eligible for these benefits. However, most independent contractors are not. Regardless, we can help you to clarify your eligibility when you arrive for your free, confidential legal consultation. 

Personal Injury Lawsuits

Unlike the workers’ compensation system, the civil justice system is preoccupied with the concept of fault. You can’t hold an individual, company, or government entity legally and financially liable for harming you if the harm you’ve suffered wasn’t (at least partially) their fault. Therefore, it’s critically important to have an experienced personal injury attorney evaluate the circumstances of your harm before committing to or dismissing the opportunity of seeking emotional injury damages. You may be owed considerable compensation depending upon the unique situation that led to your liability. Still, you’ll only be able to successfully seek an award if you can prove that another party partially caused the harm in question.

How do you prove fault in a personal injury case? Generally speaking, you’ll need to present evidence that illustrates how a defendant’s recklessness, negligence, or intentionally dangerous conduct directly contributed to the cause(s) of your harm. For example, a manufacturer of industrial equipment may have failed to produce a safe product, or a motorist may have failed to exercise caution when traveling in a construction zone. You were hurt as a result of one of these scenarios. 

Note that you may remain eligible to seek personal injury damages even if you were partially at fault for your work-related harm. In California, injury victims who are partially to blame for their dangerous circumstances may sue others for their contributions to the damage they’ve suffered, provided they can meet the standard of proof detailed above. 

Seeking Multiple Kinds Of Compensation

If you’re not eligible for workers’ compensation benefits, you may be in a position to file insurance claims and seek personal injury damages. If you qualify for workers’ compensation benefits, you can also file insurance claims if doing so makes sense in your situation. However, you’ll only be able to file a personal injury lawsuit if you’re in a position to name at least one party other than your employer as a defendant in your case. Why? Employers who pay for workers’ compensation coverage for their employees enjoy limited liability protections if employees are hurt while on the job. This means that while you can sue your employer for illegal employment practices – like discrimination or retaliation – you can’t sue them directly for work-related injuries or illnesses. However, you can sue anyone other than your employer whose negligence, recklessness, or intentional harm contributed to your injuries’ cause(s). 

Connect With A Respected California Personal Injury Lawyer Today At No Cost

If you’ve recently suffered work-related injuries, it is critically important to act quickly. By exploring your legal options now, you’ll have the best possible chance of securing the maximum amount of compensation you’re owed. Due to the time-sensitive nature of the workers’ compensation claims process and the urgency with which other insurance matters must be handled, the time to speak with our firm is now. If you need any additional incentive, remember that most personal injury cases turn – one way or another – on the strength of the evidence presented by both sides. By enlisting our help now, we’ll be able to gather, preserve, and protect as much evidence as possible. The longer you wait, the greater the risk that substantial evidence in your case could be lost or compromised.  

To schedule a risk-free, no-cost consultation with The Law Offices of Samer Habbas & Associates, PC, call (888) 848-5084 or contact us online. If you’re hesitant to seek assistance because you fear retaliation from your employer, know that the law prohibits retaliation for exercising your legal rights. If you’re reluctant to seek help because of your immigration status, know that workers’ compensation benefits are available to documented and undocumented workers alike in California. Don’t delay another day. Speak with our team now to benefit from personalized guidance designed to empower informed decision-making. We look forward to speaking with you.