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Can I sue a contractor that wasn't my employer if that contractor directly caused me to suffer a serious brain injury?

Seattle, WA |

Happened last year in September, I continued working until mid December when my employer decided I was no longer able to function normally (personality change). Drs. currently wont let me work. I didn't know I was having problems but rather noticed everyone was telling me I had changed. At this time my wife and child are estranged from me due to my personality change and other side effects of my injury.
The injury happened while I and two other people were walking at the end of a driveway. I basically walked into some unflagged lumber that was strapped to and hanging off the back of a contractors pipe rack. The contractors vehicle was parked at the bottom of the driveway on the road, the lumber was hanging into the only few feet of access to the property.

I do have an L&I attorney and am currently receiving workers compensation. However they do not specialize in the other aspects of my case and the attorneys they referred me to are to busy to return my calls.

Attorney Answers 10

Posted

You will definitely want to contact a personal injury attorney if your L&I lawyer does not do "third party claims." If someone else, other than your employer, is liable or partly liable for your injuries, you can recover from the third party non-employer and then L&I or the employer if the employer is self insured is entitled to a certain percentage for reimbursement of medical and wage loss.

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Posted

If the injury occurred while engaged in employment doing the kinds of things that the job typically requires, than it is likely a compensable injury under workers' compensation law. But a claim against a negligent third party for damages that are not covered by workers' comp may also be brought. You may need to contact both a workers' comp lawyer and a personal injury attorney. Each area of law is specialized, and not every law practice handles both types of cases.

This answer is made available by an attorney licensed to practice in the state of Oregon. The communication is intended for educational purposes only and is not legal advice. Actual legal advice can only be provided by an attorney licensed in your jurisdiction, with experience in the area of law in which your concern lies. By using or participating in this site, you understand that there is no attorney/client relationship or privilege between you and the attorney responding.

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11 lawyers agree

Posted

I agree with Dane. This could be covered under workers comp or could be an independent cause of action against the contractor. Be mindful of the statute of limitations (time period to file suit) in your state. I would recommend contacting a personal injury attorney in your state.

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6 lawyers agree

Posted

Follow Mr. Johnson's advice as he is dead on with the facts as you provided them.

Call for a free consultation at 727-937-1400 or visit us on the Web at www.serviceandjustice.com.

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4 lawyers agree

Posted

Have a local personal injury lawyer investigate a 3rd party claim.

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4 lawyers agree

Posted

While workers compensation laws limit your ability to sue your own employer, if another party is negligent you may pursue a claim against that party even if the injury arose while you were working. Your fault issue is tough, but there may be enough to pursue a claim.

This response does not create a lawyer client relationship. Each case is determined on its specific facts and this reply is intended for a general audience and facts particular to your case may affect the answer. Consult with an attorney in person for specific answers to your questions.

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4 lawyers agree

Posted

It sounds like it happened while on the job. If you Not filed an Labor & Industries claim already, you should do so immediately. You need to be seen by a neuropsychololist which will involve a full day of testing. You need to be seen by a neurologist who understands traumatic brain injuries (TBI). One you get the treatment you need you can consider about claims against third parties. The general contractor has control over the work site which can complicate matter so you will need a personal injury lawyer that does construction claim. I hope you can recover fully.

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5 lawyers agree

Posted

Brain injuries are very serious and sometimes take a long time to recover from. You may have what is typically called a "third party" case against the contractor that caused your injuries. You need to have a personal injury attorney investigate the case for you to determine if you have a case and who was at fault.

You cannot pursue a claim for pain and suffering under worker's compensation, which is what you are currently receiving, but you may pursue pain and suffering, as well as any uncompensated wages in a third party cause of action.

Best of luck to you.

Gladys Wiles
Snyder & Wiles, PC
7731 Main Street
Fogelsville, PA 18051
610-391-9500

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2 lawyers agree

Posted

You should contact an attorney who is experienced in handling both claims for injury on the job, outside of L & I, but also traumatic brain injury cases. Traumatic brain injury claims are generally more complicated, and require specialized handling and knowledge.

DISCLAIMER: This answer is provided for general purposes only, and is not intended as legal advice made in an attorney and client relationship and there is no attorney and client relationship between the person asking the question and this answering attorney. The answer provided is based on the information provided, and the answer could change if the facts differ in any way from those stated in the answer. For a definitive answer you should seek legal advice from an attorney who (1) is licensed to practice in the state which has jurisdiction; (2) has experience in the area of law you are asking about, and (3) you have retained as your attorney for representation or consultation.

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Posted

There are firms that have employ both personal injury attorneys and workers compensation attorneys. Seek their advice or seek both types of attorney's individually ASAP.

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1 lawyer agrees

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