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.Workers’ Compensation
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.Third-Party Lawsuits
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.Damages
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. The Saavedra Law Firm represents accident victims across Maricopa County. Call us at (602) 753-8917 or contact us via our online form.