Q: I got injured on the job 30ft fall. I’m on workman’s Comp. Is there a case for not supplying safety equipment.
Broke foot, pelvis, arm, L4&5, and dislocated shoulder. Company didn’t offer safety harness. Which they have implemented now after my accident. Also concerned about my future that I might not be able to return to the position and future pain and surgery and loss of mobility.
A: To address your first question, in Arizona an injured employee who is receiving worker's compensation benefits is normally barred from bringing a personal injury claim against his employer. While it is possible for said employee to bring a lawsuit against his employer, these lawsuits are very rare because they must show willful misconduct by the employer.
When an employee is injured at work due to the negligence of a third party, not the employer, the employee can bring a separate claim against the third party even though the employee is receiving worker's compensation benefits. In this scenario, if the employee collects from the third party, he may be liable to the worker's compensation carrier for the amounts they have paid.
In terms of future care, medical treatment and limitations, those are questions better suited for your worker's compensation attorney. If you do not have one, I would suggest looking through Justia for a local WC attorney who can offer you a free consultation to evaluate your claim.
Joel Friedman agrees with this answer
A: Thank you for sending your question here. The short answer to your first question is that Arizona workers' compensation is a no-fault system and you cannot file a claim directly against your employer if it had insurance for work injuries. It seems you have had a very serious accident and it will be critical that you receive the best medical care. There are a few companies in Arizona that are allowed to limit what doctors you can go to and if you did not work for one of those businesses you have a right to choose your own health care providers. You probably should be going to more than one doctor, a trauma surgeon for the pelvis, and arm, foot, back, and shoulder specialists for each of your injuries. I work with different physicians on a regular basis and would be able to recommend appropriate providers if you would like me to assist with your case. The other issue that needs to be taken care of quickly is making sure you are paid the correct amount of benefits, based on what is called your average monthly wage. I am flexible on attorney fees, and I am available at no charge to discuss your case with you by telephone or in person by appointment. Please contact me by telephone at 602-540-6366 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to review your work injury claim. Thank you
A: Mr. Saavedra, who responded to your question earlier, does make a good point about what is called a third party claim. That would only be something you can pursue if someone that is not your co-worker caused the accident in which you are injured. I can assist with the work injury case and it appears Mr. Saavedra would be able to help with any third party case. Thank you again
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