When it comes to a straight forward compensation claim, although a workers compensation lawyer in Riverside can be available in an advisory capacity, it is not something that they would normally get involved in. The reason for this is that workers comp is designed in such a way so that an employee who has been injured whilst at work can have access to funds that can cover medical expenses and a loss of wages during recovery, without having to go through long and often drawn out litigation procedures. Payments are made by the company’s insurance carrier once a claim has been filed.
In essence, workers compensation is a ‘no blame’ policy which means that when making a claim, no blame can be attached to the employer. However, whilst this is the primary source of compensation when an employee has sustained an accident at work, it only covers the victim for immediate medical costs and a loss of wages whilst in recovery. Having said that, there are circumstances in which an employer can be sued. A Riverside County workers comp lawyer explains…
In some instances when an injured employee has filed a workers compensation claim, the employer may exact some form of retaliation against that individual to include…
- Obstruction of the claims process
- Being threatening and harassing in the workplace
- Bad performance reviews and unnecessary disciplinary action
- Demoting or sidestepping for other preferred candidates
- Reduction in benefits and pay cuts
- Wrongfully terminating employment
As you can imagine these are all highly illegal practices and as a result the employee has grounds for recourse in that they can look to sue for mental anguish caused, and a loss of funds. The plaintiff can also file for punitive damages filed directly against the employer themselves.
Gross misconduct or negligence
Another way that a Riverside workers compensation attorney can help a victim to claim for damages is in the case of gross misconduct or negligence. Under normal circumstances when an employee has an accident, there is no blame attached, meaning that the employer is not held responsible for somebody else’s actions. However let’s say that the accident happened when the employee was using a ladder which had been reported faulty a while back. It turned out that the employer had not taken the ladder out of service, or had simply not gotten round to getting it repaired. This action would mean that the employer has indeed been negligent and as a result damages can be filed against them.
Third party negligence
In larger companies there could well be many contractors coming and going that may not be part of the company that the injured party works for. People such as delivery drivers, self-employed electricians, or painters and decorators are known as ‘third party’ workers. If an accident was found to be caused by the negligence of a third party worker, then again, a victim is entitled to sue for damages.
All of these claims are separate entities from that of a workers compensation claim and as a result can be filed on top of workers compensation. By contacting an experienced Riverside workers compensation lawyer they can look to ascertain whether or not you have grounds to file a claim, other than that of workers comp. The bottom line is that workers compensation only covers the bare minimum and simply doesn’t take into accounts other criteria such as any other injuries that may have been triggered by the accident, stress and trauma caused, possible loss of future wages if unable to carry out the same job, and stress caused to family members because of the accident.
If you have had an accident at work and feel that you have not received what you are fully entitled to, then it pays to consult an attorney who is well versed in dealing with such situations. If you make the right choice, they will see that you get the full and fair compensation that you deserve.