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The California workers’ compensation system gives injured employees a way to obtain financial benefits to cover their medical bills and lost wages without needing to go to trial or prove anyone else’s fault. Workers’ comp provides coverage for employment-related injuries and illnesses, no matter who was at fault for the incident.
Workers’ compensation may be the easiest route to take if you have an on-the-job injury, but is it what is best for your financial future?
To discuss your specific case, speak to an Orange County workers compensation lawyer.
All employers in California must carry workers’ compensation insurance. This insurance protects both employees and employers. It provides injured employees with financial relief when they suffer job-related injuries, while it protects employers from liability for injury accidents. A successful workers’ comp claim will provide a certain set of benefits to you as an injured employee, regardless of fault.
A workers’ compensation settlement in California will not pay you for your pain and suffering, mental anguish, post-traumatic stress disorder, psychological trauma, or loss of consortium damages. You cannot recover for any noneconomic damages with a workers’ compensation claim. If you wish to pursue an award for noneconomic losses such as pain and suffering, you will need to file a personal injury lawsuit instead of settling for workers’ compensation.
Accepting a workers’ compensation settlement automatically bars you from filing a lawsuit against your employer. You must be absolutely certain this is the route you want to take before saying yes to a settlement agreement. Working with a lawyer can help you explore all your options, and take the one that will result in the greatest compensation for you and your family. If you accept a settlement, you forfeit the right to file a lawsuit against your employer for negligence. You do not, however, lose the right to file a personal injury lawsuit against a third party.
If someone other than your employer caused your injuries, such as a coworker, property owner, or product manufacturer, you will retain the right to file a personal injury claim even after accepting workers’ compensation. A personal injury lawsuit against a negligent party could result in payment for your medical bills, disability costs, 100% lost wages, and noneconomic damages – including pain and suffering. You could pursue both types of compensation simultaneously with help from a lawyer.
If you believe your employer is at fault for your injuries, do not accept a workers’ comp settlement until you have spoken to an attorney. A lawsuit against your employer may yield better financial benefits than a workers’ compensation claim could. If you have severe, life-changing injuries that will cause permanent disabilities, a personal injury lawsuit will typically yield higher compensation for your damages. A lawyer can evaluate both options and let you know which he or she thinks is in your best interests.