Am I Entitled to Compensation Other Than Worker’s Compensation Due to Negligence?
Q: I was injured on the job when my coworker failed to secure a load which then broke loose, causing me substantial injuries. I have been off work several months receiving workers’ compensation benefits. Am I entitled to any other compensation due to the negligence which caused my injury?
A: Ordinarily, on-the-job injuries entitle the injured worker to benefits according to the Oregon Workers’ Compensation Act. The Oregon workers’ compensation system is considered a “no-fault” system. That means that negligence by your employer, a coworker, or even you, does not affect your entitlement to benefits. If you were injured on the job, your injuries are covered according to Oregon law. If the negligence which resulted in your injury was due to the mistake of your employer or coworker, ordinarily you are not entitled to additional compensation for pain and suffering and other benefits not covered by workers’ compensation. However, if there was a defective piece of equipment or if a third party, not working for your employer, caused or contributed to your injuries, you may be entitled to additional compensation. You can contact an attorney who specializes in workers’ compensation law to find out whether you are entitled to additional benefits. Keep in mind, there are usually limitations on when you must file these claims, so take action as soon as possible.