Workplace Injury

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Every year, there are thousands of workers across the nation who are injured while performing work-related tasks. While most of these workers reserve the right to file a workers’ compensation claim for injuries, workers’ compensation is not the only source of recovery following a workplace injury. 

If you have been told by your employer that all you can do to recover compensation after being harmed at work is to file a workers’ compensation claim, we urge you to schedule a consultation with our Spokane workplace injury lawyer. While you may be barred from filing a claim against your employer, if you are injured while working as a result of a third party’s negligence, you deserve to be compensated. Our law firm can help.

Common Workplace Accidents and Injuries

An employee in nearly any industry can suffer an on-the-job injury. Some of the most common types of workplace accidents and injuries include:

  • Slips, trips, and falls;
  • Falls from heights;
  • Assault/violence;
  • Repetitive stress injuries;
  • Electrocution injuries;
  • Machinery accidents;
  • Motor vehicle-related accidents;
  • Head and brain injuries;
  • Soft tissue injuries; 
  • Injuries to extremities; and
  • More.

A workplace accident can leave a worker with a disabling injury that is expensive to treat, and which prevents them from returning to their job and earning an income. The worker may also require special assistance or care as a result of their disability, and even be forced to make modifications to their home. Noneconomic losses, such as pain, suffering, and a diminished quality of life are also possible. 

Workers’ Comp.

In Washington State, workers’ compensation coverage is mandatory for most employers, and therefore the majority of employees are covered under this coverage type. Workers’ compensation insurance is a no-fault insurance system; workers do not have to prove fault for their injuries and are not barred from recovery if their own fault contributed to an accident. In exchange, employers are immune from liability, which means that an injured employee cannot file a suit against their employer for damages. What’s more, only economic damages, such as compensation for lost wages and medical expenses, are recoverable in a workers’ compensation suit; an employee who’s injured cannot seek compensation for pain and suffering. 

Third-Party Liability Claims

While you are barred from filing a lawsuit directly against your employer following a workplace injury, you may maintain the right to file a third-party liability claim against a negligent third party, such as another business, contractor, property owner, manufacturer, driver, etc. In a third-party liability claim, you must prove that:

  • The third party against whom you are filing suit owed you a duty of care;
  • The third party breached the duty of care owed to you; and
  • The breach of the duty of care was the proximate cause of your injuries and damages.

Examples of third-party claims include:

  • Filing a suit against the manufacturer of a defective piece of equipment that malfunctioned, leading to a workplace accident;
  • Filing a suit against the driver of a motor vehicle whose negligence caused a roadside construction crash, injuring a worker; 
  • Filing a suit against the owner of a property (other than an employer) where work was being performed when a dangerous condition on the property was the cause of the worker’s injuries. 

How Our Spokane Workplace Injury Attorneys Can Help

Being injured at work often results in serious losses, and workers’ compensation coverage is often not an adequate source of recovery. When you are harmed at work and you call our Spokane workplace injury attorneys, we will investigate your case to determine whether or not the negligence of a third party contributed to your harm. If it did, we can represent you in your claim, gather evidence on your behalf, issue a demand letter, and represent you in settlement negotiations. Note that you may maintain the right to bring forth both a workers’ compensation claim and a third-party liability claim. The statute of limitations on a third-party workplace injury claim is three years from the date of the accident in Washington, but our lawyers advise getting started well before the statute of limitations is breached.

To learn more, please call (509) 495-1246 today or send us a message. We are here to serve you.

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