Portland Workplace Injury Lawyer
Have you experienced a workplace injury or construction accident? Oregon workers’ compensation may not be your only option to recover damages for a workplace injury or construction accident, and Travis Mayor is the Portland workplace accident lawyer you will want to help you retrieve the compensation you deserve.
Workplace Injury — Workers’ Compensation vs. Third Party Claim
If you are an Oregon worker who has a workplace injury, you have probably been told that the only money you can receive for your on-the-job injury will come from your employer’s workers’ compensation insurance. Workers’ compensation is a system where injured employees receive partial compensation for their injuries without having to prove fault. In exchange, injured workers are prohibited from suing their employers. Unfortunately, the workers’ compensation system does not compensate a workplace injury for 100% of their losses and does not provide compensation for pain and suffering.
While workers’ compensation is generally the only recourse injured employees have against their employer, there may be situations in which Oregonians with a workplace injury may also be able to sue for damages caused by on-the-job injuries. This is known as a third party claim. A third party claim arises when the injury is caused by the negligence of someone who does not work for your employer, i.e., a third party.
Here are some examples of potential workplace injury third party claims:
- If you were injured by the negligence of a general contractor or subcontractor while working on a construction site, you might be able to bring an ELL claim against the other contractor under Oregon’s Employer Liability Law (“ELL”).
- If you were injured by dangerous conditions existing on the land where you were performing your job, you might be able to bring a premises liability claim against the landowner.
- If you were injured by a defective piece of equipment or machine while on the job, you may be able to bring a product liability claim against the manufacturer of the equipment.
- If a third party directly injures you while on the job, you may be able to bring a personal injury lawsuit against that person. This occurs frequently when an employee is driving for work and another driver causes a car accident injuring the employee.
- If you were injured by a toxic substance while on the job, you may be able to bring a toxic tort claim against the manufacturer of the dangerous substance.
Construction Sites, Industrial Sites and Other Dangerous Work Environments
Construction sites, industrial sites, warehouses and work environments where heavy equipment, toxic substances or flammable materials are used are dangerous work environments that often lead to workplace injury and third party injury claims. These dangerous worksites lead to many worker injuries and sometimes deaths. People working in these dangerous environments are often required to use their bodies and perform hard physical labor. They operate heavy equipment such as forklifts, excavators, backhoes, dump trucks and cranes. Workers are often required to work at elevated heights without or with improper fall protection and around dangerous floor openings. Workers on these sites routinely use dangerous tools. They are often working with or around chemicals, flammable substances, and toxic materials.
Given the nature of these types of construction work sites, there are often employees from different employers working onsite at the same time. The combination of the type of the work being performed, dangerous equipment and materials being used to perform the work, and numerous workers from different employers performing tasks at the same work site frequently leads to workplace injury and construction accidents. Workers injured in these environments can often pursue a third party claim against the other employer or worker who caused their injuries.
Employer Liability Law (“ELL”) Claims
Oregon’s Employer Liability Law is a powerful tool for injured workers who were injured because of the negligence of another employer on the same job site. The Employer Liability Law, or ELL, requires employers who are in charge of or have responsibility for work involving a risk or danger to employees or the public to use every measure practicable for the protection of “life and limb” regardless of the cost. This safety requirement imposes a heightened duty on the third party employer compared to what the employer would be required to do under a negligence standard. The ELL also allows workers to introduce evidence of any safety changes, fixes or repairs made by the employer after the accident that caused their injuries to show that the employer did not previously take “every measure practicable for the protection of life and limb”.
To bring an Employer Liability Law claim against a third party employer, the injured worker must show the employer was in charge of the employee’s work and (1) controlled or had a right to control how the employee performed the work; or (2) was engaged in a common enterprise with the injured workers employer.
Premises liability claims are directed at the owner or possessor (commercial or residential tenant) of the property where the work site or job is being performed. If a worker comes to a job site on a property owned or occupied by someone other than the worker’s employer and that worker is injured due to a dangerous condition on the land, the worker may have a premises liability claim against the owner or occupier of the land. Premises liability claims are negligence claims where the landowner’s duty is defined by the status of the injured person at the time they are on the land. Since workers are on the land to perform a job that will typically benefit the land owner or possessor, they are considered invitees. In such cases, the property owner or possessor has a duty to make the property safe from unreasonable risks of harm and must warn the workers of dangers that are known to the owner or possessor.
Third Party Claims Involving Conduct Directed at the Worker
Another common occurrence that leads to a third party claim is when a person is injured on the job from the conduct of a third person. Anyone who is driving for work and is involved in a motor vehicle accident caused by another driver has a third party claim against the at-fault driver. People who work in restaurants, bars, live music venues or who provide security are sometimes injured by rowdy or intoxicated patrons. They too may have a third party claim against the person who injured them while they were performing their job duties. There are countless other ways in which a third party individual can injure another person while they are working.
Workers in these types of environments are sometimes exposed to and injured by toxic chemicals and substances. These substances can cause serious injuries and illnesses. Some of these injuries and acute and immediate such as chemical burns or poisoning. Others cause latent injuries over time including cancer. Toxic substances can be any substances that harms you, but common dangerous substances include asbestos, chromium compounds, benzene, silica, and radium. Many workers who have been exposed to asbestos and developed mesothelioma over time have been successful in prevailing in third party toxic tort lawsuits.
Call today for your free and confidential case evaluation: 503-444-2825 or 1-800-949-1481.
Workplace Accident Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
I’m currently collecting workers’ compensation insurance as a result of an Oregon workplace injury – does this mean I can’t file a personal injury claim?
Answer: When you accept workers’ compensation benefits, as the result of an Oregon workplace injury, you agree not to pursue further legal action against your employer – referred to as the exclusive remedy provision of Oregon’s workers’ compensation statute. However, this does not prevent you from filing a personal injury claim against a third party (i.e. not your employer) if your injuries resulted from the actions of a third party such as the manufacturer of a defective machine, the supplier of defective toxic chemicals, or the employee of another employer or contractor. The quickest way to determine if you have cause to bring a personal injury claim against a third party is to review your case with an experienced Portland Industrial Accident Lawyer.
I have been seriously injured in an Oregon workplace injury, and now I found out my employer allowed the company’s workers’ compensation insurance to expire – what can I do?
Answer: Oregon law requires Oregon employers to purchase and maintain workers’ compensation insurance coverage. If the employer fails to do this then the employer will be fined a civil penalty and pay any Oregon workplace injury related costs associated with an on-the-job injury. These costs include all medical expenses, lost wages, administration and litigation expenses. Penalties for the first offense are 2 times the insurance premium or $1,000, whichever is greater, and for repeat offenses the penalties are $250 per day for each day out of compliance. Also, under Oregon law, corporate directors and officers and limited liability company members and managers are personally liable for penalties and claim expenses, and bankruptcy proceedings cannot protect employers from paying penalties. If your employer fails to maintain workers’ compensation insurance, then you need to contact an experienced Portland workplace injury lawyer to obtain the legal representation needed to secure your rights.
I’ve been recently diagnosed with mesothelioma due to exposure to asbestos – how long do I have to file a claim?
Answer: Mesothelioma tends to develop 10 to 40 years after exposure to asbestos. Oregon law (ORS 30.907) limits the amount of time you have in which to file a claim to less than 2 years from the date you discovered the disease. This time limitation is increased to 3 years if the exposed person is deceased. Because each person’s medical history and prognosis is different you are not permitted to join in class action lawsuits, and must file an individual lawsuit. To determine if you have an Oregon workplace injury case related to asbestos exposure you need to contact an experienced Portland lawyer for job injuries.
Portland Workplace Injury Lawyer Travis Mayor — Getting Results for Injured Victims
At Mayor Law, LLC our goal is to help you restore your life after you have been injured by reducing the hassles and inconvenience during your recovery, while maximizing your financial compensation. Travis Mayor is a Portland workplace injury lawyer who has recovered millions of dollars for his personal injury clients. For every client, Travis offers personal service with proven results.
Contact us today for a free consultation. At Mayor Law, LLC, we fight for justice for injury victims of Oregon car accidents, and we fight to win! You pay nothing up front and nothing unless you win your personal injury case.