Options after a workplace injury

Millions of employees report to their jobs each day throughout California and other states around the country. While most workers leave their places of employment without incident, workplace injuries have increased slightly. According to the nation's Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were over 4,800 fatalities that occurred on the job in 2015. This was the largest number of workplace deaths since 2008.

The findings also showed that there were almost three million workplace accidents and illnesses that did not result in a fatality. The most common types of injuries that occur in the workplace involve slips, falls and overexertion. In other instances, vehicular accidents and machine entanglement are to blame. Common causes of these accidents include defective equipment, hazardous materials, heavy lifting or repetitive movements. Also contributing to accidents are negligence, inadequate training or dangerous conditions.

Workers' compensation benefits vary by state, depending on the size of the company, how the business is structured and the level of payroll. However, the benefits may be inadequate to fully cover all the expenses for someone who is injured on the job. While dependents may receive benefits from a workplace accident, workers' compensation would not take their grief and suffering into consideration.

Many victims or family members may look beyond workers' compensation from an employer after an injury or fatality for relief. For example, action may be brought against a third-party manufacturer for faulty equipment while an employer may be named in a lawsuit for inadequate safety procedures, based upon evidence of gross negligence. In many situations, it would be advantageous to seek a jury trial. However, some cases involving a settlement may be resolved out of court.

When workplace injuries occur, it would be wise to contact a California worker's compensation lawyer. A knowledgeable attorney will work with clients to ensure that they receive the maximum benefit to which they are entitled. Also, if warranted, a lawyer can help families pursue personal injury or wrongful death litigation. A successful outcome in a case could provide compensation for pain and suffering.

Source:, "Know your rights about workplace injuries," Stephen G. Lowry, Nov. 15, 2017

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