What is Workers’ Compensation?
Lawsuits against Others for Job-Related Injuries
Workplace Injury And Accident In Phoenix
Have you recently been injured on the job? You are probably wondering how you will pay for your mounting expenses and who is responsible for those costs. A Phoenix workplace injury attorney can provide you with the guidance and excellent legal services you need to obtain fair and just compensation for your injuries. Each year, countless workers are injured and/or become ill as a direct result of their work environment. An expert attorney can help you get compensation to cover medical bills, missed days of work, and other expenses.
Many people think that their only recourse for an on-the-job injury is filing a workers’ compensation claim. While this may be true in some cases, there can often be other claims to pursue, and other people and companies who may be liable to you. It is important that your attorney understand what workers’ compensation covers, how the system works, and who else might be liable to you for additional damages. Lebovitz Law Group works hard to investigate your claim and ensure that you receive the compensation to which you are entitled, including filing a workers’ compensation claim on your behalf, as well as instituting any other applicable actions against others who may be liable for your injuries.
What is Workers’ Compensation?
The workers’ compensation system can be a major benefit to employees who are injured on the job. As a general rule, it provides compensation to employees after a workplace accident, and also prohibits employees from filing lawsuits against their employer for their injuries. However, how much compensation the employee can receive in workers’ compensation benefits is usually determined by the employer’s workers’ compensation insurance company and applicable law. It works as a “no-fault” system for accidents on the job. In addition to accidents, the law covers injuries that progress over time and occupational diseases that result from exposure at the workplace or in connection with the work that you do. There are a number of issues that must be examined in any workers’ compensation claim, including:
⇒ The nature and extent of the injury;
⇒ Whether the injury arose during and in the course of your employment;
⇒ Whether the injury was the result of an accident or a gradual injury or occupational disease;
⇒ Whether the employer has fulfilled its responsibilities under the law;
⇒ Whether the claim was filed within the time specified under the law, or whether the filing of a late claim is permitted (though, it is usually not); and
⇒ What the damages sustained by the employee are.
Arizona workers’ compensation laws have been revised over time, and these changes may affect your claim. So, it is important to have a lawyer on your side who is familiar with the law governing injuries on the job.
What Benefits Does Workers’ Compensation Provide?
There are a number of benefits that may be available when you file a workers’ compensation claim. Unlike damages in other claims or lawsuits, the type and, often, amount of workers’ compensation benefits is governed by statute. In addition, you are not entitled to damages for “pain and suffering” under an Arizona workers’ compensation claim.
Any medical expenses qualify for coverage, including things such as an emergency room visit, hospital stays, doctor visits, medicine, and similar items.
If you lose more than seven days of work, you are entitled to recover a portion of your lost wages. The wage benefit you receive is based upon your average monthly wage. You can challenge the amount recommended by your employer, but you bear the burden of showing that you are entitled to more than that proposed. There are also maximum limits on wage benefits, depending upon your work income.
If your injury results in permanent disability and lost time from work, there are several categories of disability that may be applicable. Temporary total disability concerns the time period, if any, during which the doctor says that you are not released to do any work. Statutory benefits are set at a percentage of your average monthly earnings. Temporary partial disability benefits cover any time period for which the doctor says you are able to do some work, but during which you continue to be under a doctor’s care. Your benefit will be a percentage of the difference between your average monthly wage and the amount you are currently making. Permanent disability is the stage at which your injury is not expected to improve, and you may be eligible for permanent disability benefits, which is ordinarily a percentage of permanent disability. Note that your employer (or the insurance carrier) can challenge the existence and amount of the disability.
The workers’ compensation system is fraught with pitfalls for the unwary, and the potential of losing your rights and your benefits is very real if you do not obtain the assistance of a knowledgeable Phoenix workplace injury attorney.
Disability Lawsuits Against Others for Job-Related Injuries
It is not unusual for an accident to occur on the job, which leads to potential claims not only against your employer, but also against other, non-employer parties who bear some of the responsibility for your injuries. If you are injured on the job, Lebovitz Law Group will leave no stone unturned when it comes to investigating your claim. We will discover who else, apart from your employer, might be liable to you for your damages, medical expenses and potentially pain and suffering.
While pain and suffering are not recoverable in a workers’ compensation claim, compensation may be available against others who might have contributed to your injury, or to the condition that caused it. Also, be aware that there are special rules regarding how long you have to file a lawsuit for these third-party claims.
These third-party claims are available even if you file a workers’ compensation claim with your employer. Here are just a few examples of cases in which a claim against a non-employer third party might be available:
Manufacturers and suppliers.
If you are injured on a construction site and your injury was caused, in part, by defective equipment manufactured and/or supplied by persons or companies other than your employer, you may be able to file a lawsuit against them.
If the project on which you were injured was managed or supervised by an independent party, you may be able to file a lawsuit against that third party.
If you work for the owner of a project, or a subcontractor, you may have a claim against other subcontractors in the event you are injured on the job.
If you are injured in an auto accident while driving for work, you can file a workers’ compensation claim and pursue a claim of negligence against the at-fault driver.
These are a few of many situations where you can pursue both workers’ compensation remedies from your employer and negligence claims against at-fault non-employer parties who might have contributed to your accident and injury.
Job-Related Injury Attorney in Phoenix, AZ
Between the rules governing personal injury lawsuits and workers’ compensation laws, there are many factors that can adversely affect your ability to collect damages or other compensation for your injury. Technical rules, details, and requirements must be adhered to so as not to lose your claim rights.
If you have been injured on the job, don’t delay in contacting a dedicated Phoenix workers’ compensation lawyer. Contact us today to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation.
Call Lebovitz Law Group at 602-975-5550
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Phoenix, Arizona 85012
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