All California employers owe the legal obligation to maintain a safe workplace for employees. Every employer is required to have a written and effective Injury and Illness Prevention program to help make sure employees are safe and health at work. The primary remedy for most workplace injuries in Los Angeles or the surrounding area is workers' compensation benefits. However, in some cases, a worker is injured on the job, and their injury is caused by negligence not associated with the employer. In other cases, a worker in an independent contractor who cannot bring a claim for workers' compensation benefits, but can bring a personal injury or premises liability lawsuit against the business that pays them to work.Liability for On-the-Job Injuries
If you are an employee hurt in the workplace, in many cases, your only remedy is through the workers' compensation system. You will not be able to get damages for pain and suffering or punitive damages. However, the insurer is required to provide you with medical treatment you need to recover, partially replace lost wages if you are disabled and cannot work, and help you recover so that you can work again.
An employer that does not have worker’s compensation insurance as required by law can be subject to a personal injury lawsuit for a workplace injury. In that case, under California Labor Code section 3706, negligence is presumed.
If you are an independent contractor, you can bring a personal injury lawsuit against the employer if the employer was negligent. For example, if the employer had the floors waxed and failed to put up caution cones or warning signs and you fell, you could bring a slip and fall lawsuit. You may also have causes of action against other parties. For example, if your defective new chair broke causing you to suffer a hip fracture, you might have a product liability suit against a manufacturer. If you were driving to an offsite location to inspect a construction site, and another business's employee drove a forklift into you, causing you to be crushed, you might be able to sue the employee and his employer.
In those cases, you would be able to recover general damages that you could not recover in a worker's compensation claim. General damages include noneconomic damages, such as grief, pain and suffering, and mental anguish. The amount of general damages is often the reason for a substantial damages award in a lawsuit.Experienced Lawyers in San Bernardino Employment Injury Cases
If you suffered an injury due to a car accident or another incident on the job in San Bernardino, let our experienced attorneys bring a lawsuit on your behalf or help you file a workers' compensation claim. We can also assess whether you have a viable personal injury claim in addition to your claim for benefits. We represent accident victims in Riverside, Rancho Cucamonga, and Temecula. Contact us at 1-866-422-7222 or via our online form for a free, no-obligation consultation.