Work injury accidents in San Diego have the potential to financially devastate workers and their families. Injuries suffered on the job could potentially turn lives upside down. Workers may not be able to return to work because they need to take time off to recover from their injuries. When workers suffer catastrophic injuries such as a limb amputation or paralysis from a spinal cord injury, they may lose their ability to earn a livelihood or provide for their families.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a workplace accident, it is important that you understand your legal rights and options. In addition to seeking workers' compensation benefits, which covers medical expenses and a portion of lost wages, injured workers can also seek compensation for their losses by filing personal injury or wrongful death lawsuits against third parties whose negligence caused the workplace accident. An experienced San Diego work injury lawyer will be able to give you more information about pursuing your legal rights.
San Diego Work Injuries Eligible for Compensation
Injuries sustained on the job could range from relatively minor injuries that get better with a little bit of rest and treatment to catastrophic injuries that could result in individuals losing their ability to return to work or even earn a livelihood. Here are some of the common types of injuries suffered in San Diego workplaces:
Broken bones: Broken bone injuries or fractures largely occur as a result of workers slipping, tripping and falling or get hit by objects at work. Bones can also be crushed when workers suffer injuries caused by malfunctioning equipment or machinery. In many cases, bone fractures may not be life-threatening. However, broken bone injuries often require lengthy rest as well as rehabilitative treatments. In some cases, these types of injuries could result in permanent injuries such as chronic pain, disfigurement and disabilities.
Traumatic brain injuries: A traumatic brain injury or TBI is an injury that damages the brain. It may happen when there is a blow, bump or jolt to the head. This is a closed injury. A TBI could also occur when an object penetrates the skull. Symptoms of a TBI can be mild, moderate or severe. Concussions are a type of brain injury. More severe brain injuries could lead to serious physical and psychological symptoms, coma or even death.
Serious brain injuries such as skull fractures could require surgery and extensive rehabilitation such as physical therapy, occupational therapy and even speech therapy. These costs for ongoing treatment and therapy could add up very quickly. While some people are able to return to work after suffering a brain injury, there are others who may never be able to return to work or perform the tasks there were doing before the injury.
Spinal injuries: Spinal cord injury is damage to the spinal cord that results in loss of function such as mobility and/or feeling. Some of the most common causes of spinal cord injuries are traumatic events such as vehicular accidents, falls and being struck by an object. The spinal cord does not have to be severed for a loss of function to occur. Spinal injuries could result in partial or complete paralysis. When these types of catastrophic injuries occur, a person could become disabled for life and may even need round-the-clock nursing and other types of care and rehabilitation. The costs for this type of care could run into millions of dollars during a person's lifetime.
Burn injuries: Burns are tissue damage that results in heat, radiation, chemical exposure or electrical contact. The treatment of the burn injuries depends on the location and severity of damage. Deep or widespread burns need immediate medical attention. Some people may need treatment at specialized burn centers and several months of follow-up care.
Burn injuries are also emotionally devastating because they result in disabilities and disfigurement. Patients may need to undergo costly and painful skin graft surgeries. Often times, even after these procedures, patients may be left with severe scarring and disfigurement.
Soft tissue injuries: These types of injuries involve your soft tissue – muscles, tendons or ligaments – rather than affecting your bones or joints. Common examples of soft tissue injuries include strains, sprains, contusions and tendonitis. Soft tissue injuries often require an extended period of rest and rehabilitative treatment such as physical therapy so strength, function and movement can be restored to the affected areas.
How to Hold Those Responsible Accountable
Depending on the nature and circumstances of your injuries, there are a number of parties who can be held accountable for a workplace injury. While workers may be entitled to workers' compensation benefits, there are some situations in which employers may be held liable. This is particularly true in cases where employers have willfully violated safety regulations or have knowingly allowed workers to operate in dangerous conditions. All employees have the right to work in a safe and healthy environment.
Often times, there are other parties that can be held accountable as well. For example, when a worker is injured on the job by a negligent motorist, he or she can file a third-party claim against that driver seeking compensation. In cases where workers are injured on someone else's property because of a dangerous condition, the property owner and/or property manager can be held responsible for the injuries and damages caused. In incidents where a dangerous or defective product has caused a worker's injury, the manufacturer of the faulty or malfunctioning product can also be held liable. An experienced San Diego work injury attorney will be able to assess all the facts of the case and determine potentially liable parties.
How Our San Diego Work Injury Attorneys Can Help
In work injury cases caused by negligence or wrongdoing, injured workers can seek compensation for damages including medical expenses, lost income, hospitalization, permanent injuries, disabilities, pain and suffering and emotional distress. Families that have lost a loved one may be able to file a wrongful death lawsuit seeking compensation as well. The experienced work injury lawyers at Greenberg & Ruby, LLP can help injured victims and their families seek and obtain maximum compensation for their tremendous losses. Call us at (323) 782-0535 for a free consultation and comprehensive case evaluation.