If you were injured on the job in Escondido, CA, due to someone else’s negligence, you may be able to recover compensation through a workers’ compensation claim. Our experienced Escondido workers’ compensation lawyers can handle your case and help you recover the maximum compensation you deserve. Call Petrov Personal Injury Lawyers at (619) 344-0360 to schedule your free consultation.
Generally, employers have a duty to maintain the workplace’s safety, and they may be liable if you were injured on the job due to unreasonably dangerous conditions. In addition, you may be able to pursue a third-party liability claim if someone other than your employer caused the accident.
Some industries are more dangerous for their workers than others. For example, construction, farming, and transportation workers are at a higher risk of being injured in a workplace accident than those who work behind a desk most of the time. Even so, workers in every industry have a right to expect a reasonably safe workplace. Contact our office today to schedule your free consultation if you need legal assistance.
How Petrov Personal Injury Lawyers Can Help With Your Escondido Workers’ Compensation Claim
The attorneys at Petrov Personal Injury Lawyers have the expertise you deserve to fight for compensation for your workplace injuries. Our Escondido personal injury attorneys have over 20 years of experience helping injured parties and have recovered over $40 million in compensation for our clients.
When you hire one of our seasoned workers’ compensation attorneys, we’ll manage every aspect of your case. We’ll take the following steps to help you achieve the best outcome in your case:
- Thoroughly investigate the details of your workplace accident;
- Identify all responsible parties;
- Assess the extent of your injuries and damages;
- Explain your legal rights and develop a case strategy with you;
- File all the necessary paperwork for your workers’ compensation claim;
- Protect your rights if your workers’ compensation claim is challenged;
- Negotiate with the insurance company on your behalf;
- Represent you in a trial or any related court proceeding; and
- File an appeal in your case, if necessary.
To learn more about how our firm can help with your potential workers’ compensation case, contact our office serving Escondido, California, today.
How Often Do Workplace Injuries Occur in California?
According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), approximately 1.8 million workers suffered workplace injuries and were treated in emergency rooms in 2020. The rate of workplace injuries that were treated in emergency rooms in 2020 was 127 per 10,000 full-time employees.
In 2021, there were 5,190 fatal work-related injuries in the US. Transportation-related accidents and exposure to harmful substances or environments accounted for 53% of fatal injuries in the state. Violence or harm caused by animals or other people, and then falls, slips, and trips, were other major causes of work-related fatalities.
Understanding California’s Workers’ Compensation Laws
In California, most employers are required to pay for workers’ compensation benefits if an employee is injured on the job. You are entitled to receive the workers’ compensation benefits no matter who was responsible for the injury, in most cases, and even if you do not miss time from work due to the injury.
In rare circumstances, you may be able to file a lawsuit directly against your employer if intentional or egregious conduct caused your injury. And, if someone other than your employer caused the accident or injury, you also may be able to pursue a personal injury lawsuit for damages, sometimes called a third-party liability claim.
How Much Is My Escondido Worker’s Compensation Claim Worth?
Many factors will influence the value of your workers’ compensation claim. These include:
- Whether you qualify for temporary disability payments and/or permanent disability payments;
- The amount of your weekly wage prior to your injury;
- Whether a third party was responsible for the accident;
- The extent of your injuries;
- The amount of transportation costs and other out-of-pocket expenses you incur due to the accident; and
- Whether you will require educational retraining to obtain new employment.
- The extent of your injuries;
- Whether you were partially at fault for the accident;
- The extent of your property damage;
- Whether any non-economic damages are available in your case; and
- The relevant insurance policy limits.
Reach out to our experienced workers’ compensation attorneys to discuss the potential value of your claim in greater detail.
What Types of Damages Are Available in Worker’s Compensation Claims in Escondido, CA?
If you’re injured on the job in California, you may be entitled to the following benefits:
- Medical care
- Temporary disability benefits, which covers up to two-thirds of your lost wages;
- Permanent disability benefits, in the event that you can no longer perform your job;
- Job displacement benefits, if you need to be retrained to perform a different type of work following your injury;
- Travel expenses related to medical and legal travel; and
- Death benefits, to benefit your dependents if you are fatally injured at work.
If you are also able to pursue a claim against a third-party or your employer who was responsible for the accident or injury, you may be able to recover additional damages to compensate for your injuries and losses.
These damages can be divided into two main categories: economic damages and non-economic damages.
Economic damages refer to the direct financial costs associated with an accident or injury. These may include past and future medical costs, lost wages, diminished earning capacity, property damage, and other out-of-pocket expenses.
Non-economic damages refer to the intangible costs associated with an accident or injury. These include pain and suffering, emotional anguish, diminished quality of life, and disability or disfigurement.
How Do I Prove Negligence in My Escondido Workers’ Compensation Case?
You may be able to recover additional damages from your employer or a third party if their negligence caused the accident or injury. Negligence means the failure to exercise reasonable care under the circumstances. To prove negligence, a plaintiff must establish the following four elements:
Duty of Care
A duty of care is a legal obligation one owes toward others. The plaintiff must show that the defendant owed them a duty of care. This duty may differ depending on the relationship between the parties. For example, an employer usually has a duty to maintain a safe workspace.
Breach of Duty of Care
The plaintiff must show that the defendant breached the applicable duty of care. Essentially, this means showing that the defendant failed to act as a reasonable person (or employer) would have in the same situation.
The plaintiff must show that the defendant’s actions or inactions caused the accident or injury.
This element actually has two parts. First, the plaintiff must show that the defendant was the actual cause of their injury, meaning the accident would not have occurred without the defendant’s conduct.
Then, the plaintiff must also show that the defendant was the legal cause of their injury, meaning the plaintiff’s injuries were a reasonably foreseeable consequence of the defendant’s conduct.
The plaintiff must show that they suffered some type of injury or harm due to the accident. In a workers’ compensation case, this will usually include a physical injury and the associated financial and psychological harm.
The plaintiff must prove each of these elements “by a preponderance of the evidence.” This means presenting sufficient evidence to convince the jury or judge that the fact being asserted is more likely than not true.
Can I Still Recover Compensation if I’m Being Blamed for a Workplace Accident?
California is a no-fault workers’ compensation state, which means that you are entitled to workers’ compensation benefits if injured on the job, regardless of who was at fault. This means you don’t have to prove that your employer was at fault to receive benefits, and you should still be able to receive benefits if you were at fault in the accident.
One exception to this is the injury must have occurred while you were performing your work duties. Also, if you were intoxicated at work or engaged in fighting, you would not be entitled to workers’ compensation.
However, if you are pursuing a negligence claim related to your workplace injury, then whether you were at fault can impact your damages. California is a pure comparative fault state, which means that you can still recover damages from another at-fault party, regardless of your percentage of fault in the accident.
Even so, your damages will be reduced in proportion to your percentage of fault. So, if you were 80% at fault in the accident, you could only recover up to 20% of your damages from the other party or parties. An attorney can help ensure you are assigned as little fault as possible.
How Long Do I Have To File My Worker’s Compensation Case?
In California, you must report your illness or injury to your employer within 30 days of when you become aware of the injury. You then have one year from the date you learned of the injury or illness to file a claim for workers’ compensation.
If you’re pursuing a third-party liability claim, you have two years from the date of the accident or injury to file a claim against that party.
It can be confusing to calculate and keep track of these deadlines. Consulting an experienced workers’ compensation lawyer will help you keep your claim on track and ensure that your claim is filed on time.
Contact an Experienced Escondido Workers’ Compensation Attorney for Your Free Consultation
As you can see, workers’ compensation claims can be quite complicated, depending on the extent of your injuries, the circumstances of the accident, and who caused the accident or injury.
Nonetheless, you have a right to be adequately compensated for the injuries you suffered while at work. Contact our skilled Escondido workers’ compensation attorneys to schedule a free consultation regarding your case.