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
Major injury. Life altering consequences. Future disability. Please tell me you have a qualified personal injury attorney. If not, the disservice you and your spouse ate doing to each other and your family is tremendous. Good luck.
Personal injury cases only; I'm good at it; you be the Judge! All information provided is for informational and educational purposes only. No attorney client relationship has been formed or should be inferred. Please speak with a local and qualified attorney. I truly wish you and those close to you all the best. Jeff www.nyelderinjurylaw.com
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.
I represent Employers, but I can recommend Worker Attorneys in So Cal if you ask.
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.
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