My husband fell from a roof while working, no safety equipment was supplied he worked only a few hours daily, was injured, his foot was badly smashed. Many, many doctors visits to surgeon, infection dr, and wound clinic, also vascular surgeon, in Mesa, Scottsdale and Chandler, a number of hospitalizations in Scottsdale and Payson and also a number of surgeries in both hospitals. After one year, he still has a lot of pain, limps when he walks and cannot walk very far without putting his foot up, or do what he likes to do i.e. fishing. I had to give him infusions and also nurses were involved for some weeks. Wheelchair bound for months, then crutches , then allowed to walk. Does not have a lot of movement in his foot. 26% permanent disability. Employer admitted no safety equipmen
In Arizona workers comp is the exclusive remedy if the negligence was caused by the employer or a fellow employee. If you can establish negligence on a 3rd party such as a general contractor or other entity you may have a shot. YYou can not sue after one year unless you get a reassignment from the work comp carrier
I'm sorry to hear about your husband's injury. I wish him a speedy recovery and hopefully a return to work. In Arizona in most cases an injured worker may not file a negligence claim against their employer or a co-worker for a work related injury even if there is strong evidence of "negligence". In most cases, workers' Compensation is considered the "exclusive remedy" for the injured worker. There are only a few exceptions to this general rule. Here are examples of exceptions from the general rule: if your employer " intentionally" injured you, if you had opted out of workers’ compensation coverage in writing prior to your injury, or the if employer was uninsured for workers' compensation. However, even when the "exclusive remedy" rule bars you from bringing a negligence claim against your employer, you are not barred from bringing a claim against a third party (someone other than your employer or co-worker). A thorough consultation with a qualified attorney will help you determine if a third party claim is viable. An injured worker has one year from the date of the work injury to initiate the third party claim. After a year, the right to bring an action against the third party is "assigned" to the workers' compensation insurance carrier. However, the injured worker may still bring a third party negligence claim after one year if the comp. carrier agrees to a "reassignment". Reassignments can usually be obtained from the carrier because they will be entitled to get repaid out any third party recovery to the extent they paid benefits either to the injured worker or to the health care providers. Something you should not overlook in this situation is whether your husband has received/will receive the appropriate benefits under the workers' compensation claim itself. Because of legal time limitations (for both negligence claims and workers' compensation benefits) you should seek a full review of the case right away before any rights are prejudiced. It sounds like a serious injury that warrants a consultation with a workers' compensation specialist. I'm certified by the State Bar of Arizona as a specialist in workers' compensation and I'd be happy to talk with your husband. I don't charge any initial consultation fee and if I can help my fee would be contingent on achieving some results. Best of luck.
WC is no fault, which is why the Carrier paid the bills along the way. If no other company was responsible for the injury, that may be all there is. If another person/company was responsible, the WC carrier will get reimbursed for their expenditures before Bubba sees the Pot of Gold. Then they probably will get credit for any additional money against any future expenses. The concept is called Subrogation.
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