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If I was injured on the job, do I still have a personal injury claim?

1 Aug 2017

A worker’s compensation claim is the most common form of case for work-related injuries. While it provides a practical compensation scheme, a personal injury lawyer states that it’s not the only viable recourse for workers to recover damages for personal injuries. Employees are entitled to file a personal injury claim for an accident or injury sustained at work. Examples of situations where a worker can make a personal injury claim include:

1. Toxic Substance Injuries

Here, the employee files a toxic tort lawsuit against a manufacturer of a harmful chemical or substance if it caused an injury at work. Employees working in the manufacturing industry often use flammable and other toxic substances every day. Substances that harm your body in the short or long-term qualify for toxic tort. Examples of such chemicals include benzene, silica, radium, and chromium, which are also found in LED grow lights, and e liquids. Two types of injuries associated with toxic tort suits include:

• Acute injuries such as burns from chemicals or poisoning. Such injuries are visible, thus easy to prove
• Latent injuries like lung cancer and other diseases. Such personal injuries are pretty difficult to prove and more damaging than their acute alternatives, hence the need to involve personal injury lawyers. They deliberate on all viable options if the claimant thinks the toxic substances caused the fatal health condition. Complaints regarding mesothelioma and asbestosis (caused by asbestos) have been successful.

2. Third Part Injury

Where a third party inflicted an injury during an employee’s normal course of work, he can file a personal injury suit. If an employee sustains injuries in a road accident during work-related duties and the other motorist is at fault, that driver’s insurance company may convince you to file a worker’s compensation claim. On the contrary, the employee is entitled to make a personal injury claim against the driver at fault. personal injury attorneys add that third-party personal injury claims also apply to employees who are assaulted and injured at work or where someone’s negligence or intentional acts caused harm.

3. Filing a product liability case against a manufacturer of a faulty product that caused an injury at work.

4. Where an employer has not provided a worker’s compensation policy, the employee is entitled to make a personal injury claim.

Proving a Personal Injury Claim

Personal injury claims are based on the concept of negligence. personal injury lawyers have to prove the defendant owed a duty of care and breached that duty, resulting in injuries.

• Duty of Care

A slip and fall is the most common personal injury claim filed. However, the burden of proof lies with the claimant’s personal injury lawyer as he must ascertain the defendant (employer or third party) owed him a duty of care and was negligent, resulting in injuries. Where it’s hard to prove that the defendant breached the duty of care, the plaintiff presents other evidence e.g. photographs or eyewitness testimony. For example, in a slip and fall accident, the personal injury attorney has to prove that any reasonable person would have identified a slick surface in the store and cleaned it to prevent an awful incident.

• Causation

The personal injury attorney must prove the defendant’s breach of duty, partially or wholly caused injury. Where the claimant suffered other health problems (e.g. a back problem) prior the accident, it may be harder to prove that the accident caused his current back pain.

• Damages

personal injury attorneys have to prove that the injuries sustained can be remedied using monetary compensation. Proof of injury is made through demonstrative evidence like medical records, photographs, and a testimony of a health provider. The monetary damages sought by the plaintiff also have to be backed by evidence like medical bills, payroll information from the employer about his lost income, and ongoing medical treatment records. Damages also include pain, suffering, and the reduction of quality of life the plaintiff has experienced after the accident. The feature represents one of the main differences between a personal injury claim and a worker’s compensation case.

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