Damages and Compensation Available From a Successful Personal Injury Claim
Workers’ compensation generally offers expedient compensation for a workplace injury, but the types of compensation available through a successful workers’ compensation claim are somewhat limited. For example, a successful claim can yield coverage for all of the injured employee’s medical expenses and weekly benefits for their lost income, typically amounting to about two-thirds of the employee’s average weekly wages.
The length of time these benefits continue depends on the employee’s injuries. For example, the California DWC typically caps temporary disability payments at 104 weeks, and these payments can be spread out over five years. However, if an injured employee receives a very high disability rating from their workers’ compensation doctor indicating permanent damage, they may qualify for permanent disability benefits.
A personal injury claim can provide more expansive recovery to the injured worker. Workers’ compensation can cover their medical expenses to a degree, but any outstanding medical costs incurred by the employee are typically claimable through a personal injury action. Additionally, a personal injury claim can help the victim secure various other forms of compensation, including non-economic damages like their pain and suffering. For example, workers’ compensation may cover all the injured employee’s medical costs but will not cover compensation for their physical pain and emotional suffering.
Suppose another party is responsible for your construction accident injury, and you have grounds for a personal injury claim against them. In that case, your attorney can help you determine an appropriate amount of pain and suffering compensation to include with your claim. There are several methods for calculating pain and suffering. The most commonly used are per diem and lump sum. With a per diem calculation, your attorney will determine a set amount of pain and suffering compensation for each day their client spends recovering from their injury. This method is most appropriate when the victim is expected to make a full recovery. A lump sum calculation is more suitable when the victim has developed some permanent disability or medical condition from their injury and is likely to experience a diminished quality of life and ability to live independently due to their injury.
Comparative Negligence in California Personal Injury Claims
If you have grounds for a personal injury claim in Thousand Palms, it’s vital to understand how California’s pure comparative negligence may apply in your case. While fault isn’t necessarily a factor for a workers’ compensation claim, it does play a significant role in a personal injury claim. If an investigation reveals that a plaintiff is partially responsible for causing their claimed damages, they lose a percentage of their case award to reflect their comparative negligence.
For example, if a plaintiff seeks $500,000 in compensation for a construction accident injury, but the judge overseeing the case determines the plaintiff is 10% at fault, the plaintiff loses 10% of their case award, receiving $450,000 instead. Depending on the plaintiff’s fault percentage and the overall value of the case, even a few percentage points of comparative negligence can lead to a substantially lower case award. Your Thousand Palms construction accident attorney can help you gather the evidence you need to minimize your potential fault percentage and maximize your compensation.