Visitor Question

Injured by Medical Waste at Work…

Submitted By: John (San Jose, CA, USA)

I work for a medical waste disposal company. Most of our clients are hospitals. One job I had was in a hospital where I got poked from a needle that was mixed with pharmaceutical waste. I’m wondering for how long would I be able to file a case against a third party? Would I be able to sue the hospital?

Disclaimer: Our response is not formal legal advice and does not create an attorney-client relationship. It is generic legal information based on the very limited information provided. Do not rely upon the information in our response, or anywhere else on this site, when deciding the proper course of a legal matter. Always get a personalized case review from a local attorney.


Dear John,

In the state of California, you have two years within which to file a claim for personal injuries against the responsible party. In this situation, you may have a workers compensation claim if you were an employee and the injury occurred during the course of your employment.

You may also sue the hospital. You will have to prove, however that the hospital owed you a duty, breached the duty and that you were damaged.

In other words, you must prove that the hospital was negligent.

There is undoubtedly a procedure by which to properly dispose of needles in a hospital setting. If someone failed to do so, you most definitely have a claim against the hospital. You may also wish to contact them and file and incident report (if you have not already done so) to establish a paper trail of what happened.

Lastly, if this is a state run facility you may have an administrative requirement which mandates the filing of a state of California government claim form. Be advised that you would only have 6 months to file such a claim form in that instance.

The above is general information. Laws change frequently, and across jurisdictions. You should get a personalized case evaluation from a licensed attorney. Find a local attorney to give you a free case review here , or call (888) 647-2490.

Best of luck,

Published: August 25, 2010

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