July 26, 2009 began as just another day on the job for Kevin Killeen, a battalion chief for the Newark Fire Department. He was responding to an emergency that day, and in order to reach the fire, he climbed onto the roof of an adjacent building. With just one wrong step, the chief fell through a glass panel, and although he survived, his entire career was over.
Killeen sustained many injuries to his back, shoulder, pelvis, and hip in result of the fall, and ultimately, he was forced to retire. Next came the issues of the legal process as Killeen sought compensation for this unfortunate event.
When looking at who was responsible for the injury, people first pointed fingers at the owner of the building, NSPC Inc. as well as the company leasing the building, Jensen & Mitchell Inc. Killeen filed a premises liability lawsuit against both of the companies.
Killeen was awarded $2.3 million for the injuries according to the agreement that he entered into with NSPC. He was also assigned rights under the company’s premises liability policy which was issued to J&M by Travelers Insurance Co., with the claim that NSPC had the sole responsibility of maintaining the safety of the roof.
After an appeal, the court concluded on the ruling that it is the responsibility of the insurance carrier to provide coverage for the injuries sustained by Killeen.
Work injuries are common, but what if the injury does not occur in the actual place of work? Many jobs, such as the one mentioned above, require that an employee leave the home base of the company. Because of this, it is unfair to hold the employer responsible for a personal injury on terms of premises liability. However, it is still important that you be aware of your options in this type of injury:
Workers Compensation: It is important to know that even if your personal injury occurs away from your main workplace, if you sustained injuries while on the job, you can still be entitled to workers comp.
Third-Party Liability: It is important that after an injury, you get all of the information that may be relevant. Every case is different, and without speaking to your attorney you may not know who exactly to place the liability on. That is why it is important to know everything you can about the property (who owns it, who leases it, the name of the companies’ insurance provider, etc.).
It is important that you report the accident as soon as you can, and if medical attention is needed, be sure to seek and document that as well. It is the responsibility of the employer to file with insurance on your behalf. The longer you wait to let your employer know about the injury, the longer it will take to get coverage for it from your employer.
If you are injured on the job, it doesn’t matter whether it was at your actual place of work or not—you could still be entitled to compensation. Let us fight on your behalf to get the compensation you deserve. Call Hensley Legal Group to set up a free consultation, or contact us online.