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If you settle a workers compensation case can you then start a civil case for lost wages, pain and suffering?

San Diego, CA |

I am disabled, on Social Security Disability and no longer able to work. I received a total knee replacement which healed wrong. I have mental issues and sees a doctor regularly. I am constantly depressed and have anxiety attacks. What can I do?

Attorney Answers 4

Posted

You are limited to your Worker's Compensation remedies as to your employer at the time of injury. However, if there are any third parties, you may be able to make a claim for lost income, pain and suffering, etc. Example of a 3rd party: you fell in the parking garage at your place of employment and it turns out the parking facility is operated and maintained by a separate company.

However, there is also the variable of time to consider: how long did it take to resolve the W C claim? There are some narrow statutes of limitations (time limits) from the date of injury in which to bring an action against a third party.

You should discuss the potential for making personal injury claims against any 3rd parties with a personal injury attorney as soon as possible.

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Posted

You can't sue your employer for a work injury. Instead, focus on your settlement, if in fact it's the right time to settle. Talk to a workers' compensation attorney to make sure you are fully compensated and understand how settlement can affect your social security benefits. If you need help getting started, feel free to give me a call. I'm licensed in Illinois, but I can recommend a work injury attorney in your area. 1-800-807-9530. Good luck.

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Posted

You can't sue your employer for a work injury. Instead, focus on your settlement, if in fact it's the right time to settle. Talk to a workers' compensation attorney to make sure you are fully compensated and understand how settlement can affect your social security benefits. If you need help getting started, feel free to give me a call. I'm licensed in Illinois, but I can recommend a work injury attorney in your area. 1-800-807-9530. Good luck.

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Posted

In California, you cannot sue your employer for on the job injuries. If there was a third party responsible for your injuries you may be able to sue them. Be aware that there are time limits (Statute of Limitations) governing how long you have to bring that suit against the third party.

If you do bring a law suit against a third party, the workers' comp carrier may have some rights to get their money back from that suit since any settlement from that suit would be paying you for your time off work, medical bills, etc. You didn't pay the medical bills and have partially been paid for your time off work by the workers' comp carrier so they may be able to get their money back out of your recovery.

If you settled your workers' comp case with continuing medical care, you may be able to re-open it for more $$ if you have gotten worse. You may also be able to add your mental issues if you re-open. Again, there are time limits as to how long you have to do this.

This all gets pretty complciated and technical. Talk to a good workers' comp attorney. There are plenty of them in San Diego. Find a good one here at www.avvo.com or at www.caaa.org. CAAA is the association for attorneys here in California who represent injured workers. Or you can call me for a referral.

Good luck.

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