San Jose Work Injury Attorney 

It is important to note from the start that if you were harmed while engaging in work-related activities, you may be entitled to compensation even if the circumstances that led to your injuries were entirely your fault. This reality stands in stark contrast to the situation faced by most injury victims, who are only entitled to compensation if another party directly caused their harm. As a result, it is critically important to explore your legal options no matter how you were hurt while working. Even if you caused your injuries, you may be entitled to receive significant compensation.

Passionate Legal Advocacy for Injured and Ill Workers

Being injured on the job can be a uniquely stressful situation. Not only are you faced with recovery time and lost opportunities for income while you recover, you may be concerned that your employer will retaliate against you or look at you differently as a result of your injuries. Thankfully, California law goes to great lengths to safeguard the rights of injured workers, which is just as it should be.

It is our law firm’s privilege to assist workers who have been injured or who have developed occupational illness. When you work hard for a living, you deserve to benefit from all of the protections afforded to you by law. As a result, we choose to offer free consultations to all injured workers, both documented and undocumented, who are interested in learning about their rights and how to exercise them effectively.

Know that we will treat your case with the focus, attention, an urgency that it deserves. Additionally, you can trust that you will be treated with the respect that you deserve. Our firm has built a reputation for quality, client-focused legal services that are both efficient and effective. But we are perhaps most proud of the fact that we have developed a reputation as a law firm that truly respects and delivers for its clients. You work hard, so we’ll work hard on your behalf.

Workers’ Compensation Benefits Eligibility in California

San Jose Injury AttorneyYou are likely eligible to receive workers’ compensation benefits in the wake of sustaining work-related harm if you are classified as a part-time or full-time employee of the company that you work for. By contrast, if you are classified as an independent contractor, you are not eligible for workers’ compensation benefits unless you have been misclassified and should rightfully be classified as an employee.

Workers’ compensation is a no-fault system, which means that if you’re eligible to receive benefits, you weren’t impaired by drugs or alcohol when you sustained your injuries, you weren’t injured by a fight you started, and you weren’t trying to get hurt in an attempt to defraud the workers’ comp system, you should be able to receive benefits successfully regardless of how your injuries were sustained. While a successful personal injury claim hinges on the issue of “fault,” a successful workers’ compensation benefits claim does not.

Note that in order to receive workers’ compensation benefits, you must have been engaged in work-related activity at the time that you were injured or exposed to substances which later made you ill. You don’t necessarily have to be present on a jobsite to be engaging in work-related activity. As a result, even if you were working from home, driving, or otherwise away from a traditional workspace at the time you were harmed, you will remain eligible for benefits provided that you were engaging in work-related activities at that time.

Seeking Legal Guidance Is a Time-Sensitive Matter

It’s important to seek legal guidance as soon as you can after being injured on the job. Some of your opportunities to seek compensation as a result of your work-related harm are particularly time-sensitive. Meaning, that if you don’t take specific steps within a certain timeframe, you could be barred from filing a claim.

Unless you are eligible for workers’ compensation benefits, if you were injured very recently, you will have a year or more to process your options before committing to a plan of action. However, it remains important to schedule a free consultation with our legal team as soon as you possibly can in order to preserve your legal options, and protect your rights as an accident or injury victim. Even though the law gives you time to decide upon a course of action, failing to become informed about your options could lead you to unintentionally say or do things that could undermine the strength of your case while you’re still mulling your options over. Additionally, alerting us to your situation may help us to preserve critical pieces of evidence upon which the strength of your case may ultimately rest. Too often, evidence becomes compromised over time. Depending on the circumstances surrounding your case, compromised evidence could lead you to receive far less compensation than the amount to which you’d otherwise be entitled.

In California, personal injury claims must be filed within two years of the date upon which your injury was sustained. However, if you are not immediately made aware of your injury and only discover that you’ve been injured after this statute of limitations has run, you’re granted one year from the date upon which your injury has been discovered to file a claim. If you don’t act within the timeframe applicable to your situation, you’ll be barred from seeking personal injury damages related to your harm.

If you’re eligible to receive workers’ compensation benefits, you’ll need to act even more quickly than you would if you were “only” in a position to file insurance claims and/or a personal injury lawsuit. The California Labor Code required injured workers to notify their employers – in writing – of their work-related injuries and occupational illnesses within 30 days of when these types of harm either occur or are discovered. If you are concerned about reporting your harm to your employer, speaking with our experienced team may be helpful before you submit notice of your injuries in writing to your employer. Again, however, you can’t wait too long as you may be barred from receiving workers’ compensation benefits if this proper notice isn’t submitted on time. You will then have up to one year from the date upon which your harm occurred or was discovered to work with our office to file a workers’ compensation claim. There is no way to revive your right to file a claim once this statutory timeframe has tolled.

Filing Personal Injury Action and Workers’ Compensation Claims at the Same Time

If you are eligible to receive workers’ compensation benefits, you are prohibited from suing your employer via the personal injury claims process for any work-related injuries you have suffered. This is because the workers’ compensation system exists partially to keep work-related injury lawsuit rates low. In exchange for benefits regardless of fault, workers give up the right to hold their employers legally responsible for work-related harm.

Workers remain able to sue third parties other than their employers via a personal injury lawsuit, should their work-related harm have been – in part or as a whole – caused by the negligent, reckless, or intentionally dangerous conduct of a third party. Common scenarios that support the dual filing of workers’ compensation and personal injury claims include work-related motor vehicle crashes, being physically attacked by a patient, coworker, or client while on the job, and sustaining injury as a result of dangerous or defective industrial equipment. If you are unsure of whether you’re in a position to file both kinds of claims simultaneously, know that our legal team will be happy to clarify this legal distinction for you during your free consultation.

Personal Injury Claims Process

San Jose Injury AttorneyYou may have grounds to file a personal injury claim in the wake of sustaining work-related harm if a third party, other than your employer, contributed to the cause of that harm through negligent, reckless, or intentionally dangerous conduct. You may also have ground to file a personal injury claim if you are ineligible to receive workers’ compensation benefits and the company for which you provide work-related services led to the cause of your harm due to its negligent, reckless, or intentionally dangerous actions or inactions.

Note that fault plays a different role in the personal injury process than it does in the workers’ compensation process. Workers’ compensation is a no-fault system. Thus, as long as workers aren’t starting fights, committing fraud, or are impaired by drugs or alcohol at the time that they become injured, they are eligible to receive benefits regardless of who or what caused their harm and how fault for those causes is assigned. By contrast, fault is central to the successful pursuit of a personal injury claim. In order to be awarded personal injury damages, the injury victim must prove that the defendant owed them a duty of care, breached it through negligent, reckless, or intentionally dangerous conduct, and that the breach in question served as a substantial factor in the causation of the victim’s injuries. If filing a personal injury claim is appropriate under the circumstances you’re facing, our experienced legal team will do all that we can to ensure that you benefit from the strongest possible legal strategy designed to secure you the maximum amount of compensation to which you are entitled.

Employer Retaliation – Legal or Illegal?

It is illegal under both federal and state laws for employers to retaliate against workers for exercising their legal rights. This is true regardless of whether a worker is documented or undocumented. Certainly, not all employers treat these laws with respect. Therefore, it is understandable that some workers hesitate to report their injuries and file legal claims related to their harm, as they fear that their employers will retaliate against them accordingly. However, it is important to understand that retaliation in this context is unlawful. Should your employer try to retaliate against you after you explore your legal options and/or exercise your legal rights, our legal team will work tenaciously to ensure that your rights as a worker remain protected.

Contact Our Firm Today for a Free Case Evaluation

If you’ve been injured on the job, you are invited to participate in a free, risk-free, and confidential consultation with our legal team. This opportunity will allow you to ask any questions you may have about your legal options and will allow you to learn about your legal rights as an injured worker. Our team has extensive experience handling work-related injury and occupational illness cases, so we understand just how challenging it is for workers to navigate the aftermath of such harm. We will treat you and your case with the attention, focus, and respect that both you and your case deserve. You work hard for a living – allow us to work hard on your behalf to protect the rights you’re owed under the law. We look forward to speaking with you.

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