Every month, a reader asks one of our sponsor legal experts about a work-related issue. These building trades law professionals respond in an Organized Labor exclusive. This month’s expert is Robert Arns of the Arns Law Firm.

Visit The Arns Law Firm website.

What if my injury makes it so I am unable to return to my trade?

If the incident was caused by a company other than your employer, you are entitled to complete past and future wage loss, medical damages, and other monetary damages that far exceed the value of Workers’ Compensation benefits. This is the best way to protect your family and yourself if you are injured on the job. The Arns Law firm can advise you whether you have a potential third party lawsuit.

With respect to Workers’ Compensation, you are a “Qualified Injured Worker” (QIW) if you can no longer perform your line of work. A QME (Qualified Medical Evaluator) or an AME (Agreed Medical Evaluator) will determine if you are a QIW. QIWs are eligible for a supplemental job retraining voucher. This is a voucher that can only be used to cover costs incurred at state approved or accredited schools. For injuries prior to January 1, 2013, depending on the level of a workers’ permanent disability, the amount of reimbursement ranges from as little as $4,000 to as much as $10,000. For injuries occurring on or after January 1, 2013, the amount of the voucher is $6,000.00 for all injuries. Additionally, you might have an increase in your permanent disability rating due to your diminished future earning capacity. You should call The Arns Law Firm if you are unable to return to your trade. This should be done immediately—as time goes by, valuable evidence may be lost.

-Robert S. Arns, Founder of The Arns Law Firm, San Francisco, CA

For more information on work-site accidents and
your legal options, visit the ARNS Website.

“Interaction via “Ask the Expert” does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Any advice given is neither legal advice nor does it serve as a replacement for hiring an attorney. In addition, any case results mentioned or discussed are not guarantees of similar results.”

Robert S. Arns

This Month's Expert; Robert S. Arns

ROBERT S. ARNS is the founder of The Arns Law Firm, a twelve lawyer plaintiffs’ law firm, with offices in San Francisco and Reno. Bob introduces himself as a “family lawyer”—not because he does dissolution cases, but because he represents families who have experienced catastrophic events, including serious or fatal injuries caused by defective products, construction site incidents, and other scenarios. He also specializes in representing plaintiffs in class actions. He has loved every day of practicing law and believes that to be able to help these families is the most gratifying and rewarding job imaginable.

Bob was SFTLA Trial Lawyer of the Year and he has been a finalist for CAOC Trial Lawyer of the Year many times.  He is a professor of law at the University of San Francisco where he teaches trial practice, and was USF Law School alumni of the year in 2009 and professor of the year in 2010. He is a regular lecturer on consumer issues.  He is recognized as one of the “Top 100” Super Lawyers in Northern California and one of the Best Lawyers of America.  He is the author of the best selling Rutter Group Practice Guides The Evidence Wheel and The Trial Wheel, which are used by trial lawyers and judges throughout the United States. He has argued numerous cases in front of appellate courts, including the California Supreme Court and the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, and has resolved over a billion dollars worth of cases via verdict and settlement. 

Bob’s SF office building, which he owns, was constructed with a built-in mock trial center with the facilities to mock-try a case to 36 mock jurors and break into three video-taped 12 juror deliberation panels.

Bob graduated from UCSB in 1971 with Highest Honors and graduated from the University of San Francisco School of Law in 1975 with honors and was Editor of the Law Review. He owns Tournesol winery in Napa Valley and makes a Bordeaux blend, Sauvignon Blanc/Semillon blend and a Rose

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