Orange County Work Injury Lawyer
Work Injury Attorney Providing Guidance in Irvine and All of Orange County
If you were injured at work, you most likely immediately thought about filing a claim under the workers’ compensation system in California. That would make sense, as most people understand that this type of insurance coverage exists for this reason. However, your situation was different in that you were injured clearly because someone else was acting in a negligent manner. Suddenly, you’re lying in a hospital bed suffering through excruciating pain. You need time to gather your thoughts, to organize your plan and to get moving on getting back on your feet in every way conceivable. It’s not as easy as it sounds, and it’s difficult to take this step considering everything else that is suddenly happening in your life.
The best way to proceed is to seek the advice of a California work injury lawyer from Montevideo Law as soon as possible. You can schedule a free initial consultation if you contact the firm. At worst, a discussion with an attorney will clear your mind a bit and help you obtain an understanding of what’s happening and why. You don’t want to deal with all of the red tape, technicalities, and processes that are in front of you right now, but someone has to do so in order for your legal rights to be properly enforced. Montevideo Law can help you with that as we have with so many others.
What You May Be Thinking
Everyone who is suddenly injured because of the negligence or recklessness of someone else – whether the injury occurs at work or somewhere else – encounters a lot of serious questions that suddenly dominate their thoughts. While the specific questions may vary a bit, there are quite a few that are common. Every Orange County work injury lawyer at Montevideo Law has had clients describe these questions, and examples of them include:
- How did this happen?
- Was I at fault in any way?
- Could I have avoided these injuries?
- How much is this going to cost me?
- How long will I be laid up?
- How much income am I going to lose?
- If I’m unable to work for too long, will I lose my job?
- Is this pain ever going to go away?
- Will I ever be able to move around normally again?
- Where do I start with recovering my financial losses?
You may be hearing these questions in your head all while hearing from insurance company representatives who want to “help” you and who “just want to guide you through the process so you can put this whole episode in the past.” Before you speak to anyone from an insurance company at length and definitely before you sign any documents, you need to make sure that you get some advice from a work injury lawyer. Doing so could make the difference between ultimately obtaining a proper recovery and facing years if not a lifetime of additional financial stress.
Workers’ Compensation or Personal Injury? Or Both?
As we mentioned above, most people who are injured at work will immediately assume that they should file a workers’ compensation claim as soon as possible. This is generally the correct course of action, and any injury should also be reported promptly to the employer. While workers’ compensation will help injured employees with medical care and at least some of their lost income, the system of workers’ compensation laws in California is not necessarily designed to make the injured party “whole” by way of covering all past and future losses.
In order to fully recover all of your past, present and future losses, including those for intangible forms of loss such as pain and suffering and perhaps the loss of companionship, you need to pursue a recovery by way of California personal injury law. This is known as a third-party claim, and it can be filed in addition to your workers’ compensation case. You do not have to choose one or the other in these scenarios. Situations in which a third-party personal injury claim may arise include:
- Being provided dangerous or defective products to use at work
- When an employer fails to provide a reasonably safe working environment
- When other employees act recklessly
- When equipment necessary for work is not properly maintained
- When the working premises is unreasonably dangerous
Basically, if your employer was negligent and that negligence led to your injuries, you should speak to a work injury lawyer so that he or she can help you decide whether or not a third-party claim is an advisable course to take.
It Can Happen At Any Time
Unfortunately, certain interests out there have worked to paint a negative picture of people who are injured at work and who decide to pursue the recovery of workers’ compensation benefits and/or personal injury damages. One of the common myths regarding injured workers is that they tend to find themselves in these situations soon after they are hired. According to a 2014 survey conducted by the California Department of Industrial Relations, or DIR, that is not the case.
According to the DIR data, the following percentages of illness and injury claims requiring days away from work correspond to the length of time the workers had been with their current employers in 2014:
- Less Than 3 Months – 10 percent
- 3 to 11 Months – 18 percent
- 1 to 5 years – 34 percent
- More than 5 years – 38 percent
Nearly three-quarters of all days away from work, or DAFW claims in 2014 involved workers who had been with their employers for at least one year. Therefore, a workplace injury can happen at any time.
How a California Work Injury Lawyer Can Help
If you have been injured while at work and you’re not sure about how you should proceed, you need to take some immediate steps so that you can focus on your physical recovery. Seek the help of a work injury lawyer who understands how to fight for clients who need this type of help. Contact Montevideo Law today to schedule a free initial consultation.