Occupational injuries are common. There are many different circumstances at a workplace that can result in serious or even fatal injuries. Certain workplaces carry specific risks; for example, falls are more common when a construction worker works at heights. If you are injured in a work accident, you may be able to obtain workers’ compensation benefits, and this may be your exclusive remedy with regard to your employer. However, if a third party’s negligence contributed to your injuries, you also may have a basis to sue that third party for compensation. At the Saavedra Law Firm, our Phoenix work accident lawyer may be able to represent you in a claim or lawsuit.
All employers with at least one employee are required to obtain workers’ compensation insurance under Arizona law. Employees need not pay premiums toward obtaining coverage. There is a special fund that provides benefits to workers if their employer fails to secure coverage.
Workers’ compensation is a no-fault system, so you can recover benefits for injuries sustained in a work accident without any need to establish fault. Furthermore, your employer cannot get your benefits reduced if you were partially to blame for your own injuries in the workplace. Through workers’ compensation, you may be able to get medical benefits and disability benefits. You may also be able to obtain job retraining.
Workers’ compensation benefits are not substantial. They do not cover your pain and suffering, and they do not fully replace your wages. However, depending on the circumstances of the accident, you may be able to obtain additional compensation through a personal injury lawsuit against a third party.
A work accident attorney in Phoenix can help you bring a lawsuit against someone other than your employer who acted negligently, recklessly, or intentionally to cause your harm. Most of the time, personal injury lawsuits are brought under a theory of negligence. You would need to establish negligence by showing that the defendant owed you a duty of care, but they caused the accident by breaching that duty of care. For example, if you were traveling for work and got rear-ended by another car, you might be able to sue the driver of the other car for negligence. As another example, if you tripped and fell on a cracked surface in the office parking lot, and it is owned by someone other than your employer, you may be able to bring a premises liability lawsuit against the owner of the parking lot.
There are also situations in which it may be possible to recover damages for injuries caused by a defective product. For example, if you were at work, and your hand was amputated because a tool was defective, a Phoenix work accident attorney may be able to hold the manufacturer of the tool liable. In Arizona, a product liability lawsuit can be brought under a theory of negligence or strict liability. You will need to show that the defendant made or sold a defective product that was unreasonably dangerous and caused your injuries. Claims can include allegations of design defects, manufacturing defects, or failures to warn.
If you successfully establish liability in a third-party lawsuit, you may be able to obtain compensation. The damages award may compensate for economic and non-economic losses. Economic losses might include medical bills, lost wages, out-of-pocket costs, and replacement services. Non-economic losses might include pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment of life, and loss of consortium. These damages cannot be speculative, and in some cases, it will be necessary to retain an expert to provide an opinion about what a reasonable damages award might be for certain items of loss. For example, it might be appropriate to retain an expert economist to provide an opinion about any future wage loss that you will sustain.
Contact a Work Accident Lawyer in Phoenix
If you have been injured in a work accident in Arizona, you should explore your options with a knowledgeable attorney. Freddy Saavedra represents accident victims across Maricopa County. Call us at (602) 753-8917 or contact us via our online form.
You should not be at risk of losing your job because of submitting a workers compensation claim, as a Work Accident Attorney Phoenix, Peoria, and Maricopa County AZ workers trust can explain to you. It is not lawful for an employer to fire an employee because they need workers compensation, however, they may attempt to fire you for another, dubious reason to cover up their true reason for wanting to get rid of you.
Even if your employer isn’t giving you a hard time for submitting a workers compensation claim, a Phoenix, Peoria, and Maricopa County AZ work accident attorney from Saavedra Law Firm, PLC can help you to submit your claim properly and ensure that you have included every expense you had related to your work accident injury. If your employer is being difficult, there is even more reason to have a reliable lawyer representing your interest. An experienced lawyer will ensure that your employer doesn’t take advantage of you or use scare tactics to cheat you out of getting the compensation you need to cover your injury expenses.
Any injury that occurred while at your place of work or performing work tasks should qualify for workman's compensation, with few exceptions. Depending on the circumstances, you may even be able to submit a claim for an injury that occurred at home if you work from home some of the time and were doing work tasks at the time of the injury. These can be more complex, but your Phoenix, Peoria and Maricopa County AZ work accident attorney can discuss the details of your injury and provide legal advice for your claim.
The process for filing a worker's comp claim can vary depending on your employer, but typically you will alert the necessary people at your place of work first, such as your immediate supervisor and your HR office. Your HR department, and possibly your employee handbook (if applicable), will detail the process. From there, you can work with your lawyer to make sure that your employer is acting within the law and that your claim includes all the expenses related to your injury that you need covered by your claim.
It is recommended that you save any and all documentation related to your work-related injury. This includes, but is not limited to medical bills, days taken off work due to the injury, communication between you and your employer, other expenses related to the injury, the accident report or HR report for your accident, and more. Documentation like this will help your lawyer get filled in on the details of your work injury and give them proof of the compensation needed and incident details to submit a thorough claim or in case a lawsuit becomes necessary.