You are hard at work, on a busy day, and suddenly, you slip and fall, or wrench your back, or cut your hand.  Although it makes no sense, your very first reaction is to be embarrassed, and your first thought is, “I hope nobody saw me!”  But someone did see you, and they rush over with a First Aid “Kit,” and the inevitable, accompanying First Aid “Advice.”  In many cases, by the end of the day, not only has someone from work taken you to a Workers’ Compensation Doctor, but someone has already given you a Workers’ Compensation Claim Form to fill out.

You go home, and you’re just beginning to fill out the Workers’ Compensation Claim Form, when your telephone starts ringing … first, it’s the guy from work, who sits in the cubicle next to you, and has advice about just about everything.  Next, it’s your mother-in-law, who actually does have advice about everything.  And you’re surprised to hear that your “kitchen cabinet” of advisors are telling you NOT to fill out that Workers’ Compensation Claim Form.

Los Angles Personal Injury Lawyer

But what’s the alternative?  The alternative – apparently – is to hire a Los Angeles Personal Injury Lawyer and to file a civil law suit, instead of filling out the Workers’ Compensation Claim Form.  But if you were injured while at work, on-the-job, you are required to follow the State-mandated Workers’ Compensation route, at least if you are seeking compensation from your employer.  But in many cases, there are third-party individuals, or companies, or entities of some sort, other than your employer, that may have some liability for your injuries.  So, as it turns out, there is a FORK” in the road that you’re on, and you can choose between two (2) very different paths.

Path #1The “Workers’ Compensation Route

The “Workers’ Compensation Route” is, as the American Poet Robert Frost would describe it, the road more travelled upon, the typical, more common path.  You fill out the Workers’ Compensation Claim Form, you allow the Human Resources / Personnel Department of your employer make all the decisions, and you receive treatment – for “free” – from Workers’ Compensation Doctors and Clinics.  You get some Chiropractic treatment / therapy for your back, and/or stitches for your cut hand.  Your immediate health problems and issues are dealt with, and you might even end up with a few dollars of monetary compensation in your pocket, for lost work days, and pain and suffering.  And that’s about it.  No one is punished or reprimanded for the unsafe conditions that may have contributed to your accident and/or injuries.  Life – or at least the part of life that takes place in the work place – goes on.

Path #2The “Alternate, Third-Party Defendant Route

The “Alternate, Third-Party Defendant Route” is, as the American Poet Robert Frost would describe it, the road less travelled upon, the atypical, less common path.  For Robert Frost, choosing this path made “all the difference in the world.”  In this alternative, you forego your Workers’ Compensation Claim Form, hire your own personal attorney, go to Physicians and Medical Providers of your choice, and – if necessary – file a lawsuit against each and every one of the individuals, contractors, sub-contractors, companies and – yes – even government agencies, that created or tolerated the unsafe conditions that may have contributed to your accident and/or injuries.  Your life – including your working life – is turned upside down.  You find out who exactly was responsible for the dangerous condition that has injured you, and you take action against them.

For example, let’s say – hypothetically – you were working as a Flight Attendant for a major airline.  While inside the terminal at LAX International Airport, you reported a coffee spill.  The coffee spill was not cleaned up, and you ended up slipping on the very hazard that you had reported to the Airport maintenance crew.  You hurt your neck and back seriously.  Those injuries were exacerbated by the physically challenging job you do as a Flight Attendant.  So you take the easiest, simplest path, which is to file a Workers’ Compensation Claim Form with your Airline Employer.  You get time off of work, and immediate – if mediocre – medical attention.  As time goes by, you receive Workers’ Compensation benefits for almost six (6) months. 

But you do not receive cash benefits, and after 5 or so months, your doctor says you must return to work.  You never file a lawsuit against the City of Los Angeles, which operates LAX International Airport, or the maintenance company that has contracted for the responsibility of maintaining LAX in a safe condition.  Had you sued immediately, you might have received a substantial cash settlement.  But now, more than six (6) months later, when you try to sue the City of Los Angeles, it is too late, since there is a six-month deadline for such a filing.

Author's Bio: 

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