Is Your Workers’ Compensation Case Also a Liability Case?

An injury on the job may be more than just a workers’ compensation case.

Every year, we receive inquiries about injured workers that include the ability to pursue more than just a workers’ compensation (WC) case. In fact, when a worker is severely injured it is imperative to evaluate every possible type of recovery, as almost all states allow a separate lawsuit for situations where the injuries were caused by the fault of the third party. Such a third party may be a product manufacturer, a different construction company, an at-fault driver, a maintenance company, a property owner, or even a medical provider. Each of these possible causes of action should be investigated as soon as possible so evidence can be preserved. In death or amputation cases, OSHA should be called immediately.

The WC/Product Liability Case

A WC/product liability case most often happens when a worker is injured on an industrial machine at work such as a conveyor, a press, an injection machine, etc. But defective tools such as saws, nail guns, etc. are also successful cases we have handled. It is critical that any product be preserved and photographed. If the employer possesses the machine, a letter of preservation and an inspection by an expert is necessary as soon as possible.

The WC/Drug or Device Case/Medical Malpractice

After an injury, a worker may undergo significant medical treatment. This may involve such medical devices as a joint replacement (hip, knee, shoulder, etc.), bone grafts, or hernia mesh that may involve revision surgery of the original device. This may represent a failure of the device. There also may be malpractice considerations if treatment has resulted in far worse injuries.

The WC/Construction Case

If a worker is injured on a construction site, there may be a cause of action against other contractors who caused the problem. There are many complex defenses in these cases, but proving another contractor violated OSHA or ANSI standards is what we evaluate.

The WC/Negligent Maintenance Case

Workers are sometimes injured by negligently maintained equipment or defective property made dangerous by hidden, unwarned defects such as rotting steps or unmarked dangers.

The WC/Auto Case

A common situation is a worker being injured by another at-fault driver. Coordination of all the auto and business coverages are very important.

Summary

These “combination cases” involve complex issues of coordination of laws, subrogation, and insurance. GoldenbergLaw has successfully handled hundreds of these complex cases. We work with the workers’ compensation attorneys to make sure our clients maximize their recoveries. Contact Stuart Goldenberg.