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Can I File a Personal Injury Claim for a Work Accident?
Despite advances in workplace safety, you may experience a workplace accident at some point in your life. For many people, workers compensation is enough to cover most of the damage done.
However, just because you were injured in the workplace doesn’t mean you can’t file a personal injury claim, as well. Depending on their situation, many people opt to file a personal injury suit: Not every accident fits under workers compensation, and you may require a different approach.
What’s the Difference?
Workers compensation differs from personal injury the most when it comes to fault. California practices comparative negligence, which means you are responsible for your percentage of fault for the accident even if you didn’t completely cause it, but this only applies to personal injury cases. Workers compensation, on the other hand, applies if you are hurt in a workplace accident, regardless of fault.
Workers compensation also has set benefits. If you were injured at work, you may receive weekly compensation, coverage for your medical expenses, and benefits based on impairment or disability after your accident.
This is a limited list compared to what you could receive through a successful personal injury claim. A personal injury claim can compensate you for your pain and suffering after an accident, for example. When you file for workers compensation, you may lose the chance to receive these other benefits.
When to File a Personal Injury Claim
If you have been seriously injured at work, you may need more compensation than the amount workers compensation supplies. While California requires workers compensation benefits, some of the situations below may warrant a personal injury claim:
- Defective Product – If a manufacturer made a defective product, you may be compensated by that negligent manufacturer for your work accident damages.
- Extreme Negligence by the Employer – In cases in which an employer’s actions caused your accident through especially negligent behavior, a personal injury claim may be warranted.
- Negligence of a Third Party – In this case, another party outside the company has caused the accident. This is especially common for delivery drivers, for example.
- Toxic Substances – If you were injured by exposure to toxic or illegal chemicals, you could be awarded a settlement through the manufacturer of the harmful substance.
Our Firm Can Help
If you have been injured in the workplace but are unsure of how to move forward, or if you have questions about your claim, Haffner Law is here to help. Give us a call at 1-844-HAFFNER (423-3637) or fill out our online contact form below to speak with a personal injury lawyer.