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 Kimberly Wong of The Veen Firm.
I was injured while driving on the job. The police cited me and the other driver for failing to come to a complete stop where we both had stop signs. What should I do?
You should immediately notify your employer of your injury so that your employer can report it to its workers’ compensation insurance company and take appropriate action. Employees injured on the job are generally entitled to workers’ compensation benefits from their employer. Benefits include medical treatment and disability payments related to the work injury. You should also notify your employer of the circumstances of the incident, vehicle damage, and injury to the other driver.
Both you and the other driver may bring civil lawsuits against each other for your respective injuries. It is therefore important that you immediately report the incident to your insurance company. California follows a comparative fault system. Assuming both of you are at fault, your damages will be reduced by the percentage of your fault in causing the incident. Likewise, the other driver’s damages will be reduced by his or her percentage of fault. Because the incident occurred while you were working, your employer is also legally responsible for the other driver’s injuries to the same extent as you. Under California law, this is known as respondeat superior or vicarious liability.
A thorough investigation is required to determine the respective fault of each driver. Obtaining and reviewing a copy of the police report is essential. You should be aware that sometimes police reports contain inaccuracies.
For additional advice as to what you should do in your specific situation, you should consult with attorneys who specialize in workers’ compensation and personal injury claims as soon as possible because there are strict time limits under which you must act to protect your rights.
-Kimberly Wong, The Veen Firm, PC
For an even more thorough answer, please go to veenfirm.com/blog.
For more information on work-site accidents and
your legal options, visit The Veen Firm 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.”
This Month's Expert; Kimberly Wong