Do I have a case for personal injury or is it all on me?

Asked 11 months ago - Los Angeles, CA

Working as a contractor for a big company in Orange County, CA. I was hired for the day by their "in house" production team to shoot video of their new machines and actors. Halfway through the day I tripped on some of our motion picture equipment fell to the ground and dislocated my shoulder. The company got me an ambulance and sent me to the ER. They have already stated that I will not be covered under workers comp. and that I will have to provide my own medical resources. I told them that the majority of production companies will either cover the out of pocket expenses or cover you under workers comp. So far, nothing.
The medical bills are climbing. MRI's, possible surgery. And I have to keep my shoulder immobilized which means I can't work.

Attorney answers (10)

  1. Richard Andrew Harting

    Pro

    Contributor Level 18

    10

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . More information is needed to determine if this is a viable work comp case. However, you mention you are hired as a contractor (presumably an independent contractor). This tends to favor you are not covered under work comp. You also mention "our motion picture equip." - to have a third-party case (PI case) you need to show someone else's negligence created a dangerous condition that caused you injury (this is an overly simplified statement). You will need to contact a law office directly to discuss your situation in more detail. Many offices listed here on AVVO, like ours, offer no cost initial consultations.

  2. Christopher John Gansen

    Pro

    Contributor Level 18

    9

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Mr. Harting has hit the nail on the head. I do more third party cases than WC, so the question of how you tripped would be key to me. Did another company's employee place the equipment there or did you, etc. etc. Best of luck.

  3. Brett A. Borah

    Contributor Level 20

    8

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Independent contractors are not covered by WC. Employees are. So the question is: Which were you? This is a complicated question to answer. It's not as simple as getting a W-2 vs. a 1099 or a title. There is a multipart test that must be applied. Best to consult with a good WC attorney who can sit down, go over the facts of your case and do the analysis to come up with the right answer.

    Find a good WC attorney here at www.avvo.com or at www.caaa.org. CAAA is the association for attorneys here in CA who represent injured workers.

  4. Avedis Nalbandian

    Contributor Level 10

    7

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . More information is needed to properly respond to your questions.
    . Good Luck !!

  5. Robert Steven Walch

    Contributor Level 12

    7

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . You should definitely contact a workers compensation attorney to find out if a claim can be made. Regarding personal injury, you may or may not have a claim. This will depend on whether you can prove that there was negligence and the negligence caused your injury.

    Disclaimer The information contained in this answer and Website is provided for general informational purposes... more
  6. Mishka L Marshall

    Pro

    Contributor Level 17

    8

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Consult with a local workers compensation attorney. Good luck.

  7. Philip Anthony Fabiano

    Contributor Level 20

    7

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . You received responses from lawyers from your state and I suspect you will receive more.
    Here is what this would look like in Pennsylvania--either the inhouse production company is your employer or it is not. If it is, then you collect workers compensation because you were hurt on the job--even if you were careless leading to the injury. You could not sue the company for pain and suffering etc. You were limited to the medical expenses and your wages. If you were not an employee and you could show your injury was caused by the negligence of the in house production company then you could sue them for the medical expense, all the wage loss and pain and suffering, etc. In either scenario --claim against your "employer" or claim against same company if not your employer you could also sue any other company or person who was careless and caused or contributed to your injury.

    If you feel this is the "best" answer or is "helpful," please indicate. Since I am limited to the information you... more
  8. George Ellis Corson IV

    Pro

    Contributor Level 20

    5

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . You MAY be an Employee, or you MAY be an Independent Contractor. The problem will require a close analysis of about a dozen elements that are not included in your post. I know some very good WC Attorneys, and some very good WC Attorneys know me.

    I represent Employers, but I can recommend Worker Attorneys in So Cal if you ask.
  9. Christian K. Lassen II

    Pro

    Contributor Level 20

    6

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . More info needed. Contact one of the above lawyers in your state to discuss in detail.

  10. Manuel Alzamora Juarez

    Pro

    Contributor Level 20

    2

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . If you were not an employee but were a laborer working at the premises, you may actually be in need of two attorneys. Discuss this case with a WC attorney and then ask him if you will need a PI attorney. Best of luck.

    This answer is provided by California Accident Attorney Manuel A. Juarez, Esq., 510-206-4492. Abogado de... more
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