Workers’ Compensation Attorneys in Eugene Oregon

JJLM attorney Keith Semple

Attorney Keith Semple handles many workers’ compensation cases.

When you show up to work for your employer each day, you should be able to expect that you and everyone around you are taking appropriate safety measures. While most of the time these safety measures keep employees from injuries, sometimes workers are still injured on the job. In these cases, the worker will typically have a claim under the workers’ compensation policy that their employer carries as a form of insurance. Workers’ compensation coverage is known as “no-fault” insurance, meaning that determining who was at fault for the injury is not required. However, it also means that an employee cannot file a lawsuit against their employer for their injuries. This tradeoff comes with costs and benefits to all involved.

If you have been injured at work, either in an accident or in a situation where you have been exposed to stressors over a long term and developed onset illness as a result of your exposure, contact us now to learn about how this type of illness or injury is addressed under the law. We will be happy to give you a better idea of your legal options for compensation, as well as examples of clients that we have helped in the past who were in similar situations to yours. 

Having legal guidance can be a major advantage as you navigate the difficult process of recovering the losses caused by your injuries and keep your stress down as you focus on getting well. Read more below about workers’ compensation and how an attorney can help you, and contact us now to get started.

What Is Workers’ Compensation?

Workers’ compensation is an insurance policy that protects both employers and workers in the event that there is an injury on the job. Personal injury lawsuits, involve “at fault” insurance, meaning that the first step is to identify who caused the accident, and then make them liable for the compensation. This is NOT the case with a workers’ compensation claim, which is a “no-fault” insurance policy and therefore does not require that anyone (or more than one) party is found to be responsible.

Since there is no requirement to establish blame in an accident covered by workers’ compensation, a worker can get compensated regardless of whether or not they are partially or fully at fault, and additionally means that the employer cannot be sued by their employees if the employer or a co-worker was at fault. There are benefits and drawbacks on each side of this insurance agreement, but generally, it works out in the interest of all involved.

Injury At Work

Using a Workers’ Compensation Attorney

Since there is no issue of fault or negligence in a workers’ compensation claim, many people may believe that it is less complicated than a civil suit regarding a personal injury, and therefore that it does not require the help of an attorney. While it is true that there is a different process involved with a workers’ compensation claim than there is in a personal injury lawsuit, the fact still remains that an attorney will give you a significant advantage as you try to get the best outcome possible.

When you have a lawyer in Eugene working on your workers’ compensation case, you will be able to use all of the time that would have otherwise been spent dealing with your claim focusing on your recovery. Without the added stress of needing to understand the claims process, dealing with the insurance company, and making sure that you are adequately covered for all of the losses you have suffered that are supposed to be addressed in your policy, you can make your health your main focus.

What Is Covered in a Workers’ Compensation Claim?

Workers’ compensation is intended to soften the economic impacts of a workplace-related injury and restore the worker to maximum earning capacity as quickly as possible. This means that your medical expenses and lost wages should be covered and that you should be compensated for permanent impairment caused by your injury. In some cases, an injured worker may not be able to return to their field after recovery. In these cases, the worker may be eligible for retraining so that they are qualified for employment in a new field. 

There Are No Non-Economic Damages in a Workers’ Comp Case

Since a workers’ compensation policy protects both workers AND their employer, this policy blocks an employee from being able to seek non-economic damages from their employer in the event of an injury. In a personal injury case, a victim can seek these types of damages in addition to the measurable, economic damages that they have suffered. This includes things like pain and suffering, or depression resulting from the injury. 

In some cases, the victim may identify a variety of parties, or parties other than their employer who are not protected under workers’ compensation, as the responsible party for the accident or injuries. In these cases, such as an instance of faulty equipment or negligence on behalf of someone who is not included under the workers’ comp policy, there may be other avenues available to seek additional compensation. This is another reason why it is so important to work with an attorney.

Contact Us Today

The sooner you take action to get your workers’ compensation claim started, the sooner you will be able to resolve this legal issue and focus on your recovery without the added stress of uncertainty. We will be happy to speak with you as soon as possible about your situation, give you suggestions and advice about what steps to take next, and discuss how we can help you in this case, as we have helped many clients before you towards a successful outcome.

Other Practice Areas

Our experience:
A few relevant past cases

Log-Loader Accident

We represented the family of a log truck driver killed while delivering his load to a mill. After arriving at the mill’s yard, he parked where he was told, and began to remove the wrappers binding the load to the truck. While he was doing so he was struck by a log-loader and died instantly. We prosecuted a third-party claim against the log-yard owner, citing negligence, and violations of the Oregon Employer Liability Law. The case settled successfully for our client.

Platform Collapse

Johnson Johnson Lucas & Middleton represented an ironworker who was injured when the platform he was erecting collapsed under him. He landed in the mud, gravel and twisted steel, and was rendered quadriplegic. Though entitled to workers’ compensation for his lifetime, the compensation fell far short of his total damages. Following a thorough investigation, our firm brought a third-party claim on his behalf against the contractor and others responsible for the faulty design specifications and an overly aggressive building schedule.

Propane Tank Explosion

Two factory workers were severely burned when a defectively designed gauge dial on a propane tank caused a leak, which in turn caused an explosion. We brought a third-party claim on behalf of our client against the manufacturer of the gauge and the tank. We settled the case on behalf of our client, greatly benefiting the injured worker and the employer.

All example cases in this area