Phoenix Workers’ Compensation Lawyer
Cruz & Associates has more than 25 years of experience with workers’ compensation claims, and our attorneys understand the legal issues that can arise after a workplace accident. We are very familiar with the challenges facing injured workers, which is why we make it our mission to provide you with a comfortable, professional experience with our firm. Every year, workplace accidents cost thousands of lives and cause millions of injuries. Additionally, workplace injuries cost the country billions of dollars in medical expenses, legal fees, and lost productivity.
Understanding Workers’ Compensation
The first line of defense for an injured employee to cope with medical expenses and lost wages after a workplace injury is the workers’ compensation system. Arizona state law requires all employers, even if they only have one employee, to carry workers’ compensation insurance. After an injury, the injured employee should notify his or her employer of the incident and start the filing process for workers’ compensation. Once the State Workers’ Compensation Board approves a claim, the employee can receive a number of benefits.
While the workers’ compensation system can provide coverage for lost income and cover immediate medical expenses after a workplace injury, workers’ compensation benefits are rarely enough to cover the total cost of an injury, and the claims process can be daunting and confusing to navigate. Injured employees should turn to reliable attorneys for help navigating their claims and exploring additional avenues of compensation.
Alternative Legal Actions
In some cases, injured employees can file legal claims if workers’ compensation benefits aren’t enough to cover their losses. Depending on how the injury occurred, an injured employee may have several options. For example, if the employee notified his or her supervisor of a safety issue but the employer did not correct the problem in a timely or effective manner, any employee who suffers an injury from the hazard may be able to sue the employer for negligence.
Some workplace accidents happen because of the actions of other parties. For example, imagine an employee driving to make a delivery for work when another driver hits the employee’s vehicle and causes injuries. The incident occurred within the scope of the employee’s job duties, which qualify for workers’ compensation. However, the injured employee may also choose to sue the at-fault driver in a third-party personal injury claim to recover additional compensation.
Defective products sometimes cause workplace injuries as well. If an employee uses a piece of equipment, vehicle, chemical, or other product in the workplace that causes an employee injury, the victim can file a product liability claim against the product manufacturer. In these cases, the employee won’t necessarily need to prove the defendant was negligent, only that the product in question was indeed defective and the defect caused the injury.
Winning Your Case
The workers’ compensation system is notoriously complex, so hiring an attorney after a workplace injury is often a wise decision. Your attorney can help you navigate the claims process, handle delays, denials, or appeals to your claim, and open other avenues for legal action if possible. Employees who file personal injury lawsuits or product liability claims can typically recover the medical expenses and lost income that workers’ compensation insurance won’t cover. They can also secure compensation for their pain and suffering and other losses as well.
Filing a lawsuit is a major decision, and you should only proceed with an attorney you trust. Contact Cruz & Associates today for a free case evaluation. One of our attorneys will meet with you at a convenient location of your choosing to review the details of your situation and discuss your options. Our attorneys have extensive experience with the workers’ compensation system and can help handle issues with insurers, negligent employers, and other parties that cause workplace accidents.