You’ve been hurt at work. Generally, workers’ compensation benefits are going to be your only option for obtaining compensation as a result of the accident. That is, unless someone besides the employer was responsible for the injury you sustained.
For example, let’s say you drive a delivery truck for your employer. While driving on the freeway to make a delivery, you are rear-ended by another car. In this instance, you are able to seek benefits through workers’ compensation with your employer because the accident happened on the job, but you may also be able to bring a lawsuit against the driver of the vehicle directly.
This is important because workers’ compensation does not recognize what is known as damages for ‘pain and suffering.’ While workers’ comp will pay you benefits for missed work and any permanent physical limitations you have going forward, a civil claim can compensate you for the physical pain and emotional distress you’ve experienced as well.
File a Civil Case
Recovery for pain and suffering is only available to you when a civil case is filed. And this driver that rear-ended you on the freeway is going to be someone you can file a civil case against. And with a civil case comes higher recoveries for injuries sustained as oftentimes the damages related to one’s pain and suffering can eclipse the limited benefits of the workers’ compensation system. Pain and suffering includes all past and future earnings loss, loss of enjoyment of life and activities, damage to property and medical care that would be provided outside of the workers’ compensation claim.
It’s important that you discuss your injury with an experienced attorney who will spot all the ways you are going to be able to recover from this accident whether it is strictly a workers’ compensation claim, a third party claim or another exception to the sole remedy rule. Additionally, navigating the process of filing a workers’ compensation claim and pursuing a civil case can be complex. It is probably in your best interests to retain an attorney who can handle multiple causes of action simultaneously instead of retaining multiple lawyers.
Law Office of Gerald D. Brody & Associates
At the Law Office of Gerald D. Brody & Associates, Gerald Brody and Matthew Russell have a combined 45 years of experience helping injured San Diegans navigate the tricky workers’ compensation legal system. If you’ve been injured on the job, and you want to learn more about filing a civil case, contact our San Diego office today.