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Can I sue my job for getting hurt on the job for negligence. ?

Richmond, CA |

I work at a jewelry store and I've been there about a month. They had a solid wooden show case with a broken lock on it and all they did was put clear tape on it. I was bent down recently wen the lock broke off the case door and the cabinet door fell on my face and lacerated it. I had to go to the emergency room and receive treatment. I was wondering if I can sue them for negligence because they already knew it was broken and did nothing to fix it until it busted my face open. Do I have a case?

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Attorney answers 4


Unless the negligence was so terrible as to almost constitute a crime, your options are limited to worker's compensation insurance. All of your medical bills should be handled by worker's compensation.
Talk to a worker's compensation attorney in the East Bay about what rights you have at this point, and what needs to be done. While you might conceivably have gotten more if you went to court, that could be years from now -- worker's compensation is designed to compensate you quickly. 510-208-5500. This answer does not create an attorney-client relationship. It is not legal advice, because it is only of a general nature. Please contact a lawyer qualified in your jurisdiction to discuss your situation in confidence, using your factual details. Avvo answers are only general legal responses. Item 9 of's Terms and Conditions are incorporated in this disclaimer as though it were printed here.


On-the-job injuries are handled through California's workers' compensation system. Within that system, there is a possibility for an larger award if the employer's actions were "serious and willful," as those terms are defined by workers' compensation law. I've shared your question with Avvo's workers' compensation law forum, where your question may be seen by more attorneys who practice in this area of the law.

You can find a workers' compensation attorney on the California Applicant Attorneys Association (CAAA) web site: CAAA is the strongest California bar association for attorneys who represent injured workers. On the home page, click on the picture of the wheelchair above the words "Injured Workers." On the next page, click on the link to “Attorney Search” on the left side. Enter your city or any other information and click “Search.” *** All legal actions have time limits, called statutes of limitation. If you miss the deadline for filing your claim, you will lose the opportunity to pursue your case. Please consult with an experienced employment attorney as soon as possible to better preserve your rights. *** Marilynn Mika Spencer provides information on Avvo as a service to the public, primarily when general information may be of assistance. Avvo is not an appropriate forum for an in-depth response or a detailed analysis. These comments are for information only and should not be considered legal advice. Legal advice must pertain to specific, detailed facts. No attorney-client relationship is created based on this information exchange. *** Marilynn Mika Spencer is licensed to practice law before all state and federal courts in California, and can appear before administrative agencies throughout the country. She is eligible to represent clients in other states on a pro hac vice basis. ***


Find out if they have WC Insurance. If they do, then Workers' Compensation is your Exclusive Remedy based upon your facts. If they do not have WC Insurance, then you can absolutely sue them for Negligence as an Uninsured Employer; you even get a presumption that they were negligent under the law. That is even BETTER than a regular negligence case!

We offer general concepts, but you should give ALL your facts to a licensed Attorney in your state before you RELY upon any legal advice.


With very few exceptions, and they are not likely to apply to this situation, you cannot sue your employer. You would be limited to workers' comp.