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

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.

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Attorney answers 10


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.


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 or at CAAA is the association for attorneys here in CA who represent injured workers.


Consult with a local workers compensation attorney. Good luck.


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.


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 provide, I cannot guarantee the accuracy of the answer. You should seek the advise of an attorney who can explore all aspects of your question. This communication does not form an attorney client relationship.


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


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


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.

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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.

Brett A. Borah

Brett A. Borah


I agree with Mr. Corson.


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 Accidentes de Autos de California: 510-206-4492. Abogado de Lesiones de Accidentes de Autos, provides answers of a general context. These answers are not intended to form an attorney client relationship. Oakland Abogado Accidentes Autos, Abogado de Lesiones Personales, Abogado de Accidentes de carros, Abogado de accidentes de Peatones, practices in Antioch, Berkeley, Concord, Oakland, Hayward, Martinez, Newark, Richmond, San Francisco and San Rafael. El abogado de lesiones y heridos en accidentes de autos, is licensed only in California. This information is good only in California and it is not to be taken as legal advice on car accidents, personal injury, divorce, bankruptcy or in any other type of situation. Esta respuesta es del Abogado de Accidentes de Autos, Abogado de Lesiones Personales, Abogado de Heridos en Accidentes de carros, Manuel A. Juárez, 510-206-4492. Abogado Hispano de Accidentes, Abogado de Divorcios, Abogado Latino de Accidentes, Abogado de Accidentes de Oakland, Hayward, San Francisco, California. Estas respuesta son solo para información general y no consisten en consejo legal sobre divorcios, mantención de esposas, mantención de hijos o bancarrotas. Las respuestas son comentarios legales que no forman una relación de abogado y cliente. Manuel Juarez, Esq., esta licenciado solo en el Estado de California.

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