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Can I Still Bring a Personal Injury Case if I Filed for Workers’ Compensation?

Being injured at work can have severe effects on your mental, physical, and financial wellbeing. Though many companies offer workers’ compensation, they may also try to steer injured employees away from bringing personal injury cases to avoid bad press in relation to their business. It’s a common myth that employees must choose between workers’ compensation and a personal injury case. Luckily, many injured workers may still be eligible for both avenues of compensation and justice. Read on to find out if you have a case.

What’s the Difference Between Workers’ Compensation and a Personal Injury Case?

Workers’ compensation is a program set up through the State of California. Employers utilize it to pay their employees if their workers are injured while working. Workers’ compensation may pay for lost wages while recovering, medical bills, and other job-related damages incurred by the employee. Unlike a personal injury case, workers’ compensation is not a fight to be won for justice, necessarily. Workers can file to have compensation issued to them after they’ve been injured on the job. It is part of an employee’s rights in the workplace.

On the other hand, a personal injury claim in California alleges a party was responsible for the accident leading to the injury and demands compensation for the damage caused by someone’s negligence. Personal injury claims must be filed in California courts. The claim also does not need to allege the employer as the negligent party. While an employer may not have acted negligently, another entity or person may have caused the incident, such as a driver or a manufacturer.

How Do I Know if I Have a Personal Injury Case?

Every injury is different, and the circumstances leading to your injury as vital to determining if you have a personal injury case. Consulting with a skilled California personal injury attorney can help you understand your rights in your situation.

However, a good rule of thumb for determining if you have a case is asking yourself one question: was I injured because of someone else’s negligent actions? It may have been an unsafe road, dangerous building, or reckless driving behavior. If someone else potentially caused harm by acting negligently, you might have a case.

How Do I File for Workers’ Compensation?

In the State of California, injured employees are likely to receive documentation paperwork and instructions on how to file for workers’ compensation when they report the injury to their employer. If you aren’t provided instructions, though, you can find information on filing, disbursement, and documentation on the California Department of Health Care Services website. For frequently asked questions about mailing addresses and disbursement schedules, you can look here.

How to Begin Bringing a Personal Injury Case After Filing for Workers’ Compensation

Once you’ve received medical care, reported your injury to your employer, and filed for workers’ compensation, you can begin bringing a claim against the negligent party that caused your injury. At BD&J, PC, we’ve supported injured employees for over 20 years as they seek the compensation they deserve when they’ve been put out of work. Here’s how to begin working with our California personal injury attorneys.

  1. Collect evidence and documentation of your injury. This information helps us build a case on your behalf and make a claim for recovery. Keep photos of your injury and the scene where the accident took place, medical records, testimonies from witnesses, and anything else that may be important to proving negligence. 
  2. Contact our personal injury team here. Complete our form to receive a call from one of our team members regarding your potential case. Our lawyers will review the information you provide and begin the process of filing.  
  3. Stay in contact with us. Our personal injury attorneys will be keeping you informed as your claim progresses. However, we empower our clients to participate in their claim and may need to discuss the process with you.  

Frequently Asked Questions

What do I do after I’m injured at work?

Immediately after injury, seek out medical attention. Your safety should be your top priority. Once you are safe and cared for, report your injury to your employer to begin the process of filing for workers’ compensation. Then, you may choose to contact a California personal injury attorney at BD&J to learn if you may have a case.

Can my employer fire me for getting hurt at work?

Employers may not legally fire their employees who have been hurt at work simply for being hurt. In the State of California, employees have the right to file for workers’ compensation. Any retaliation for filing for this program or for missing work due to an injury received at work is illegal.

How long does it take to get workers’ compensation payments?

Timelines may vary. Depending on the complexity of the incident that led to your injury, the available documentation, and the cooperation of your employer, you can expect payments to be remitted within a few months. If you have questions about how long your payments are taking, contact the Department of Health Care Services.

Ensuring Injured Employees Receive Justice Throughout California

Employees deserve to seek the full extent of the compensation owed to them through all avenues. For more than 20 years BD&J’s personal injury attorneys in California have represented the rights of injured workers across California against negligent third parties, their own employers, and other corporations that have caused their injuries. With several multi-million-dollar settlements and verdicts recovered, our team will not back down until you receive the compensation you deserve. Contact our team 24/7 from anywhere in California to receive a free consultation!