workers compensation personal injury lawsuit in Arizona

The Internet is full of celebrations of and lamentations on the 24-7 workplace. For better or worse, an increasing number of Americans have jobs that are not limited to a specific location or schedule. Business etiquette in regard to everything from clothing (yes, jeans can look professional) to correspondence (no, it is not acceptable to include cheeky emojis in a text message to your boss) has changed to meet the challenges of the new reality. Of course, the fact that a greater number of venues are included in the average workday can also raise some complex legal issues.  For example, given that workers’ compensation benefits are available to workers injured at work, what does it mean to be injured at work?  The same injury being the subject of a workers’ compensation case and a separate personal injury lawsuit is more common that you might imagine.

One Injury, Two Lawsuits

Imagine that you are a home health aide; your employer is a home health care agency, and your workday involves driving to several patients’ houses, and you are paid by the hour, including the time you spend driving from one patient to the next. While you are driving from your first patient’s house to your second patient’s house, you get injured in a car accident. Who is responsible for paying for your medical expenses? Is it the worker’s compensation insurance?  Your employer? The driver who caused the accident (or that driver’s insurance company)?

The above scenario certainly counts as an injury sustained on the job, so your first step should be to file a workers’ compensation claim. According to Arizona law, all injuries sustained on the job are eligible for workers’ compensation, regardless of who was at fault for the accident that caused the injury. If the amount of money you receive in workers’ compensation is not enough to cover your medical expenses and lost income, Arizona does not, however, allow you to sue your employer. A doctrine known as exclusive remedy prevents this. You may, however, file a separate lawsuit against the driver who caused the accident.

Getting the Greatest Amount of Money from the Two Settlements

Injured workers in Arizona can and do win lawsuits against third parties such as the other driver in a work-related car accident.  If you are awarded money in a personal injury lawsuit related to the same injury for which you filed a personal injury claim, Arizona law requires you to reimburse the workers’ compensation from the settlement money you received from the other lawsuit. The best way to get enough compensation for yourself is to work with a personal injury attorney who is used to dealing with third-party personal injury lawsuits related to workers’ compensation cases.

Contact Eric Schmidt About Work-Related Injury Cases

If you have been injured on the job, you have recourse to workers’ compensation, but you also have other options. Contact Eric Schmidt in Phoenix, Arizona to discuss the best way to get compensation for expenses related to your work injuries.