Can I File A Personal Injury Claim If I Was Injured While On The Job In Oregon?

If you have been injured while on the job in Oregon, then you may be wondering whether or not you are able to file a personal injury claim. The answer, as is often the case with legal matters, is "it depends."

Workers’ Compensation in Oregon

Before we dive into whether or not you can file a personal injury claim, we first need to discuss workers’ compensation in Oregon. Under Oregon law, most employers are required to provide their employees with workers’ compensation insurance. This insurance provides benefits to employees who are injured while on the job.

These benefits may include:

  • Payment of medical expenses related to the injury
  • Wage replacement benefits if you are unable to work due to your injury
  • Disability benefits if you suffer a permanent disability as a result of your injury

While workers’ compensation insurance can provide a great deal of assistance to injured workers, it is not always enough to cover all of the damages that a worker may suffer. This is where a personal injury claim may come into play.

When Can I File a Personal Injury Claim?

If you have been injured while on the job, there are certain situations under which you may be able to file a personal injury claim to recover additional damages beyond what workers’ compensation provides.

Third-Party Negligence

One such situation is if your injury was caused by the negligence of a third party. For example, if you were injured in a car accident while driving a company vehicle, you may be able to file a personal injury claim against the driver who caused the accident. This is because workers’ compensation benefits do not cover injuries that were caused by someone other than your employer or a coworker.

Intentional Harm

Another situation where you may be able to file a personal injury claim is if your injury was caused by the intentional actions of someone else. For example, if a coworker intentionally causes you harm while on the job, you may be able to file a personal injury claim against that coworker.

How Does Workers’ Compensation Affect My Personal Injury Claim?

If you are able to file a personal injury claim for your on-the-job injury, you may be wondering how your workers’ compensation benefits affect that claim. In Oregon, workers’ compensation benefits are considered a "substitute" for personal injury damages. This means that if you receive workers’ compensation benefits, you are generally not able to recover the same damages in a personal injury claim.

However, there are certain damages that are not covered by workers’ compensation that you may be able to recover in a personal injury claim. For example, workers’ compensation does not cover non-economic damages such as pain and suffering. If you suffer significant pain and suffering as a result of your on-the-job injury, you may be able to recover those damages in a personal injury claim.

What Should I Do If I Was Injured While on the Job?

If you have been injured while on the job in Oregon, there are several steps that you should take:

  1. Report Your Injury: It is important that you report your injury to your employer as soon as possible. Failure to report your injury in a timely manner may result in a denial of workers’ compensation benefits.

  2. Seek Medical Attention: Once you have reported your injury, seek medical attention right away. Even if you do not think your injuries are serious, it is important to get a medical evaluation to determine the extent of your injuries.

  3. Contact an Attorney: If you believe that you may have a personal injury claim in addition to your workers’ compensation benefits, it is important that you consult with an experienced personal injury attorney. An attorney can help you understand your legal options and guide you through the process of filing a personal injury claim if necessary.

Conclusion

Being injured while on the job can be a frightening and stressful experience. However, if you are able to file a personal injury claim, you may be able to recover additional damages beyond what workers’ compensation provides. To determine if you have a personal injury claim, consult with an experienced attorney who can guide you through the process and help you understand your legal rights and options.

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