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Stephen H Heller

Stephen Heller’s Answers

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  • I fell at work and broke my hand. Although this has been covered by workers compensation, can i sue for pain and suffering.

    I fell at work 6 months ago. This was the fault of the property owner not my employer. Workers Comp insurance has been covering the medical. i still have limited use of my hand, and am in constant pain. Can i sue the property owner for pain an...

    Stephen’s Answer

    Hello. The short answer is that you can sue the property owner in what's called a "third-party" action. You would be entitled to recover damages for your medical expenses, lost earnings and how the injury has adversely affected your quality of life (sometimes referred to recovery for "pain and suffering"). In order to prevail, the law requires that you prove, among other things, the following elements:

    1. The defendant owned/leased/occupied and otherwise controlled the property;
    2. The defendant negligently maintained the property, i.e., that there was a failure to use what's called "ordinary care" to keep the property in a reasonably safe condition;
    3. The nature and extent of your injuries; and
    4. The defendant's negligence was a substantial factor in causing your injuries.

    Note that if you recover on your third-party action, your workers' compensation carrier would have a "lien" against that recovery. The lien can be negotiated, however.

    Hope this helps.

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