Orange County Workplace Injury Attorney
You consider yourself to be a good employee—and you definitely want to keep your job—so when your boss asked you to take on a specific task at your workplace, you did so. Whether or not you were properly trained or given suitable safety equipment, you sustained an injury. Now, you’re trying to get help for your medical costs and navigate the complex world of workers’ compensation law, but it’s overwhelming.
Every year, about 2.9 million nonfatal injuries and illnesses happen on the job, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. That’s about three cases per every 100 workers. Of course, some fields like construction are bound to be more dangerous and result in more injuries, but across the U.S., workers in every industry and field are hurt in the workplace.
If you’ve been hurt as a direct result of the work you do, whether it’s an acute injury like a traumatic brain injury (TBI) sustained in a fall or an overuse injury like carpal tunnel syndrome, you may be eligible for payment through workers’ compensation. The issue with workers’ comp is that it may not pay all your expenses, or your employer may claim that your injury was not work related.
Whether you’re having trouble understanding the details of workers’ comp law and figuring out what you really should be receiving, or whether your workplace injury claim has been denied, you need legal help to get the best possible outcome. Hiring an experienced workers’ comp lawyer can help you get the full benefits you deserve to heal properly from your injury. Contact one of the knowledgeable Orange County personal injury lawyers at Aitken * Aitken * Cohn for a free consultation about your case and start getting the support you need.
Our Results in Workplace Injury Cases
In many workplace injury cases, the defendant and/or the defendant’s insurer denies responsibility based on some action that the employee took, but in most cases, this does not negate their liability. While we cannot guarantee a positive outcome for your case, we’ve had great success with securing damages for those injured in the workplace. In some instances, we have also been able to successfully sue for loss of consortium on behalf of the plaintiff’s spouse or family.
In several lawsuits that we’ve brought against negligent employers or associated companies, the defendants settled out of court, but we’ve also had to go to trial. No matter whether your case is settled or goes to court, we’ll be with you every step of the way. Here are examples of our successful outcomes:
$14,332,000 settlement. A retail store manager fell from a 12-foot-high merchandising island while performing stocking duties. He sustained a skull fracture and brain damage when the crown molding at the top of the island broke away and he fell backwards. The case against the store and the construction company that built the island resulted in a significant settlement, but the plaintiff will require 24-hour care for the rest of his life.
$4,855,000 settlement. A worker for a well drilling company got his arm caught in a spinning part of drilling machinery that was found to be poorly maintained and missing proper safety guards. His arm had to be amputated, and he suffered spinal injuries that left him paralyzed. The settlement came from both the equipment manufacturers and the Orange County Water District that hired the well drilling firm and had failed to ensure they were following proper protocols.
$2,250,000 settlement. A worker applying sheet metal to the exterior of the Disneyland Grand Californian Hotel fell and sustained brain trauma and other injuries when the scaffolding he was standing on broke. The plaintiff was initially blamed for cutting the tie wires on the scaffolding and causing his own injury, but the man’s employer—a sheet metal fabricator—as well as the scaffolding company and the contractors settled.
$1,962,000 verdict. A plumber was run over by a gravel truck while working at a construction site; he suffered a crushed pelvis and needed two surgeries. The defendants, who included the owner and driver of the truck and the contractor, claimed he should have been aware of the truck approaching and that he had not properly checked in at the site, but the plaintiff won damages.
$1,290,000 settlement. A glazing contractor was working on the seventh floor balcony of a building being constructed in downtown Los Angeles when he was hit in the head by a 16-foot board that a nearby crane knocked loose. He was unconscious for more than a minute and suffered from ongoing back, neck, and shoulder pain as a result of the accident. We sued the workers’ comp insurance company to fully cover his medical expenses and pain and suffering associated with the accident.
$1,000,000 settlement. A roofing company employee making repairs to his boss’s residence fell from the second story, breaking his leg and injuring his back and shoulder. He was not wearing any safety equipment; the roofing company denied liability, said the plaintiff was a part owner of the company, and not eligible for workers’ comp payments.
Of course, not every settlement for a workplace injury is in the millions of dollars; nevertheless, at Aitken * Aitken * Cohn, we work hard to get you reasonable compensation for your injuries.
What Are Workers’ Comp Injuries?
Workers’ comp will pay to cover medical expenses and lost wages, regardless of who was at fault for a workplace accident. Even if the employee bears some of the responsibility for the accident, the idea is that he or she wouldn’t have been present at all if not employed for that purpose.
Many workers’ comp injuries are very straightforward. For example, you may have been:
- Working in a kitchen with a knife when you cut yourself, you needed to get stitches. Workers’ comp paid for your medical bills and the time you were off and couldn’t work until your hand healed.
- Hanging Christmas decorations in your office on the direction of your boss, you fell from a ladder and broke your ankle. Workers’ comp paid for your hospital bills, follow-up doctor visits, crutches, and the time you were off the job.
- Filling extra orders in your factory and working more hours than normal, tendons in the arm that you use to move products became swollen from overuse, and you had difficulty with movement. Workers’ comp pays for diagnosis of the problem, medications to help with swelling and pain, and physical therapy to recover.
- Working at a construction site where you were hit by a loose board. Workers’ comp pays for you to get medical treatment for a minor concussion, and for your wages while you rest and recover.
However, some workers’ comp injuries are more complicated, and may require the help of a qualified attorney to get sorted out. Here are situations where you are likely to need legal assistance:
- Your claim is denied or your employer doesn’t pay your benefits in a timely manner. Employers and insurers sometimes deny claims because they don’t think the employee will appeal.
- Your settlement doesn’t cover everything it should. You may have additional medical bills or expenses while you were injured that you discover aren’t covered.
- Your employer disciplines you for filing a claim. You may have had your hours reduced, your pay lowered, or your position demoted after suffering an injury.
- Your physical condition prevents you from returning to work and the workers’ comp insurer isn’t offering enough to make up for lost wages over time or re-training for another career.
Your employer or a third party were seriously negligent, resulting in injuries that you should not have received in a safe workplace. In this case, a knowledgeable attorney may be able to file a personal injury lawsuit in addition to your workers’ comp case.
Who Can Be at Fault?
A subcontractor at a California Tesla plant suffered a broken jaw when a piece of equipment hit him. A teenager was run over and killed by paving equipment during work to resurface a church parking lot in northern California. Farmworkers working in southern California’s agriculture industry have suffered heatstroke and even death working in hot weather. Who’s to blame for these and other on-the-job injuries?
In California, workers’ compensation is a “no fault” benefits system. That means that regardless of who is to blame for the conditions leading to an injury—even if it’s the injured person—the workers’ comp insurance can be used to pay for medical and related expenses. However, other parties may be at fault, and pursuing a workers’ comp claim does not impact your ability to sue anyone other than your employer for personal injury.
Those who are responsible for workplace injuries often are:
- The injured worker. This person did not undertake a job task safely, did not use safety equipment, or did not follow established protocols for completing work.
- A co-worker. Another employee failed to take reasonable steps to ensure safety in the workplace, including leaving tools or equipment in a dangerous condition, failing to perform expected maintenance to the area or equipment, or creating an unsafe environment.
- A supervisor or manager. The boss requested that an employee take action that was not safe, not according to established protocols for that task, or that did not properly utilize safety equipment. In other cases, the supervisor asked another employee to take or not take a certain action that led to an injury.
- A third party. An outside contractor, visitor to the workplace, or other non-employee did something to cause injury or failed to take reasonable steps to prevent injury.
What Kind of Damages Might be Recovered When a Workers’ Comp Injury Happens?
A workers’ comp injury might result in simple reimbursement of medical expenses and unpaid salary during time off work. When workers suffer extreme injuries that result in ongoing pain and suffering, disruptions to their lifestyle and family life, and difficulty resuming their careers, a skilled personal injury attorney can help recover appropriate damages. Those may include financial compensation for:
- Medical expenses.
- Income, including future payment you could have received if you were not injured.
- Property loss, like clothing or personal equipment damaged in the accident.
- Loss of enjoyment, if you can no longer engage in recreational or outside-of-work activities you once participated in.
- Emotional distress, such as stress, anxiety, and trouble sleeping.
- Loss of consortium, or damages awarded to a partner or family member who endured a negative change in the relationship due to the injury.
The range of possible damages recoverable in a workplace injury case can vary widely, depending on the circumstances and severity of the injury. In a case where a third party bears responsibility for a major workplace injury, damages can total in the millions of dollars. In the majority of cases, settlements are much less; your law firm can never guarantee a settlement or verdict outcome, but an experienced attorney can examine the facts of your case and make a prediction as to the strength of your claim.
How do Those Liable Try to Get Out of Paying Their Fair Share?
Unfortunately, workers’ comp insurers and larger employers have a reputation for denying legitimate claims. They may work with doctors who minimize the extent of an injury or encourage underreporting. They may labor behind the scenes to make political changes to workers’ comp programs. They may simply deny a claim, assuming correctly that many workers won’t take the time and go through the hassle to appeal.
Unscrupulous employers may try to convince an employee not to file a workers’ comp claim or may delay reimbursing the employee for medical expenses resulting from an accident in the workplace. Third parties responsible for injuries may claim that the worker was negligent, rather than themselves or their employees.
In order to get the compensation you deserve when you’re injured on the job, it’s crucial to find a compassionate lawyer with experience in workers’ comp law and workplace injury claims. To ensure the best chance of a successful outcome, call an attorney right away—before your rights are affected.
How Much Will a Workplace Injury Lawyer in Orange County Cost Me?
Don’t let a lack of money to pay a lawyer keep you from seeking legal advice and assistance for your workers’ compensation injury. Aitken * Aitken * Cohn attorneys always offer free consultations. You’ll meet with a professional workplace injury lawyer who can discuss your case and can help you decide what steps to take. With a personal injury case like a workplace accident, most cases are handled on a contingency fee basis; attorney fees and costs are only recovered from a successful settlement or judgment.
What to Do if You Have Workplace Injuries
If you’re injured at your workplace, it’s important to have compassionate, capable legal representation so you can get the compensation you deserve. Contact us online or call 866-434-1424 to schedule a free consultation with a knowledgeable attorney at Aitken * Aitken * Cohn. When we stand with you—whether your claim is settled or you end up in court, you know you’ll have a partner who cares about getting you the best possible outcome in your case.