Work-related injuries in Orange County are sadly common. Construction zones, factories and other places of work can be danger zones for workers. Those who have been injured at work may not be able be able to return to work temporarily or permanently. Many victims may need ongoing medical care or rehabilitation, for which the costs may add up very quickly.
If you have been injured on the job, it would be in your best interest to retain the services of an experienced Orange County work injury attorney who will remain on your side, fight for your rights and ensure that you receive maximum compensation for your losses.
Steps to Take If You've Been Injured at Work
If you have been injured on the job, there are a number of steps you would be well advised to take in order to protect your legal rights:
Report your injury. This is a crucial step. Even if you believe at the time that you haven't suffered a "significant injury," it is important that you report it right away to your supervisor and/or employer. If you don't promptly report it, that could be held against you, sometimes.
Get prompt medical attention. It is important to seek prompt medical care and treatment. It is also crucial to let your doctor know that the injury is work-related. Make sure your doctor records this information in your medical notes during the initial visit. This helps clarify that your injury occurred on the job. It is additional corroboration by your doctor, which will be valuable when you file a work injury lawsuit. In addition to documenting your injuries, the treatment you received and your medical expenditures, getting prompt medical care will also help put you on the road to recovery.
Maintain a detailed record. Keep a record of all workdays missed, travel and out-of-pocket expenses. For example, a number of work-related injuries require extensive rehabilitation such as physical therapy and chiropractic care. These types of treatments and therapies may not necessarily be covered by health insurance. Therefore, it is critical that you keep a detailed record of your treatment, and maintain a file with invoices, receipts and other documentation, which shows how much you spent on these types of injury-related treatments and therapies.
Obtain all possible evidence from the scene. It is important that you try to gather as much evidence as possible from the scene of the accident. This might include cell phone photos and videos of the accident scene, the surrounding area, your injuries, etc. It would also be a good idea to get photos, for example, of tools or equipment that may have malfunctioned and caused your injuries. If there were people who witnessed your accident, it would be a good idea to get their names and contact information. Eyewitness testimony can be very important in a work injury case and could really help strengthen your case.
Contact an experienced lawyer. It is common for workers and families to believe that workers' compensation will help reimburse them for all their expenses and losses. But, this is not always true. When a worker has died from his or her injuries or has suffered a catastrophic injury that has left him or her disabled for life, the reimbursement provided by workers' compensation or even disability benefits may not be enough.
If a family has lost a primary wage earner or its breadwinner, the financial consequences for them could be absolutely devastating. An experienced Orange County work injury attorney will explore all possible avenues of compensation including third-party claims, which will help victims and their families receive maximum compensation for their tremendous losses.
Who Can Be Held Liable?
There are a number of third parties (individuals or entities other than your employer) who could be held liable for your accident and resulting injuries. They include:
Drivers who caused car accidents: When a driver strikes and injures someone who is on the job, the injured victim can file a personal injury lawsuit against the motorist. In cases where negligence or wrongdoing is involved such as an impaired or distracted driver, injured victims may have a strong case.
Construction companies and contractors: A construction company or general contractor is generally responsible for the safety of a worksite. If you are working for a general contractor, a construction company, or even a subcontractor and are injured on the job, you may have grounds to pursue a third-party lawsuit against those responsible. For example, if you are a carpenter who gets electrocuted because of untagged live wires, the general contractor or construction company in charge of the project could be held liable for failing to comply with federal safety standards for electrical wires in construction sites.
Property owners: If you are working on someone else's property, you may have grounds for a third-party lawsuit against the property owner if you have been injured due to hazardous conditions on that property. For example, if you are working in a commercial building parking lot and you trip and fall on a stairway because the property owner failed to repair a broken stair, you may be able to file a lawsuit against the property owner whose negligence and failure to fix a dangerous condition on his or her property caused your injury.
Defective products: If you have been injured on the job by a dangerous or defective product, you can seek compensation by filing a product liability lawsuit against the company that manufactured that faulty product. For example, if a forklift crashes because it had defective brakes and caused your injuries, then the manufacturer of the forklift can be held liable for your injuries. Similarly, a construction worker who is impaled by nails discharged by a malfunctioning nail gun can also seek compensation by filing a third-party lawsuit against the manufacturer of the nail gun.
Orange County Work Injury Attorneys Can Help
If you or a loved one has been injured on the job, the experienced work injury attorneys at Greenberg & Ruby LLP will help you seek and receive maximum compensation for your losses. Our attorneys will assemble a team of dedicated professionals who will evaluate every aspect of your claim and build a strong case against the defendants, particularly if a third party is to blame for your injury. Call Greenberg & Ruby, LLP at (323) 782-0535 to find out how they can help you.