Visitor Question

What are my workers comp rights for a slip and fall at work?

Submitted By: Philip (Lancaster, CA, USA)

I have a question about workers comp rights. I worked for a large company’s distribution center through a staffing agency. I was almost done with my 90 day probation when one of the machines leaked and I slipped, twisting my knee and destroying most of the cartilage.

The distribution center did nothing for me, the staffing agency gave me the run around for 5 months then sent me to their doctor to remove the damaged cartilage, but did not replace it. I got a $50,000 bill a couple months later because the staffing agency DID NOT have insurance!

The agency will not pay to replace the damaged cartilage. I have bone grinding on bone, no job, and the staffing agency is trying ignore me.

Isn’t it illegal for a company to operate without workers comp insurance? Are there any attorneys that handle these kinds of cases? I’m having a hard time finding one. Thanks.

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.

Answer

Dear Philip,

There are workers compensation attorneys (and plenty of them) that should be able to assist you with this case.

However, the first questions is whether there is any workers compensation insurance in the first place.

I would look in two places: First, I would look to the staffing agency and second, I would look to the insurance of the job on which you were working when injured.

The problem is with the wording of the staffing agency. If the agency called its new hires “independent contractors” rather than “employees” they may have created a barely legal loop hole to avoid workers compensation insurance.

It is more probable that they HAVE insurance and do not want to turn it over. Try again to find an attorney who does both Civil Litigation and workers compensation and explain your scenario. I am confident that someone out there will have the requisite experience to help you.

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: February 7, 2011

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