Should we be concerned if an employee was injured? 15 Answers as of July 11, 2013

I own a large facility services company operating throughout Virginia. We recently had a fall involving an employee of a building we are contracted to provide janitorial services with. The employee fell on a recently mopped floor and was mildly injured (sore back). The contract requires all cleaning be done during working hours. A wet floor sign was present, though not totally visible from all angles. My understanding of VA law is that as an employee of the building we are contracted to clean, workers comp is her only remedy (similar cases seem to support this). However, she is threatening legal action. Is there concern from our end?

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The Lucky Law Firm, PLC
The Lucky Law Firm, PLC | Robert Morrison Lucky
Thanks for your inquiry. I am only licensed to provide legal advice in the states of Louisiana and Mississippi. In both states, if an employee is injured in the course and scope of his employment by a co-worker, by fault of no one, or by the employer, then worker's compensation is the exclusive remedy. I am unsure if this is the case in Virginia. I would contact the Virginia bar association or the your local bar association to obtain additional information. Please contact my office to discuss further. Thanks again!
Answer Applies to: Louisiana
Replied: 6/27/2011
The Law Office of Josh Lamborn, P.C.
The Law Office of Josh Lamborn, P.C. | Josh Lamborn
If someone is injured on the job then works compensation is generally their only remedy. However, if a third party's negligence caused the injury the third party can be sued. If the person is going to sue you there is little you can do about it now though.
Answer Applies to: Oregon
Replied: 6/27/2011
Wilson & Hajek, LLC
Wilson & Hajek, LLC | Eddie W. Wilson
Facts point to worker's comp.
Answer Applies to: Virginia
Replied: 6/27/2011
Paul Whitfield and Associates P.A.
Paul Whitfield and Associates P.A. | Paul L. Whitfield
In NC an employee can only bring a comp claim against the employer. Your facts are not clear. Whose employee is this, yours or theirs?
Answer Applies to: North Carolina
Replied: 7/11/2013
LT Pepper Law
LT Pepper Law | Luke T. Pepper
She could sue the owner of the facility for negligence as the only remedy against the employer would be worker's compensation. It is likely a bad case since there was signs posted and she had notice. That being said, your insurance company should be notified right away of the accident because if you wait and she files a claim your insurance company can deny the claim for your failure to notify them timely.
Answer Applies to: Pennsylvania
Replied: 6/27/2011
    Law Offices of Steven A. Fink
    Law Offices of Steven A. Fink | Steven Alan Fink
    You should report the incident to your insurance carrier. Workers comp would apply to the injured employee's claim against their employer. However, the injured employee can sue you in court because you are not their employer.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/27/2011
    Law Office of Jared Altman
    Law Office of Jared Altman | Jared Altman
    I cannot answer your question because I am not admitted to practice law in the State of Virginia. But if it is like New York law, where I am admitted, then it sounds like her only remedy is Workers Compensation. Please note the following necessary legal disclaimer: I have not given legal advice. I only give advice to my clients. I am not acting as your attorney. I have not yet agreed to represent you. Anything I have said is based on limited information and may be subject to change as more facts become known. Attorneys express opinions. Attorneys often disagree. If you want further information or independent verification of anything I have said then you should immediately consult another attorney. Never sit on your rights! I am admitted to practice law in New York State only and cannot practice law in any other State.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 6/27/2011
    Evan M. Altman Attorney at Law
    Evan M. Altman Attorney at Law | Evan M. Altman
    Give it to your worker's comp carrier.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 6/27/2011
    Theodore W. Robinson, P.C.
    Theodore W. Robinson, P.C. | Theodore W. Robinson
    Yes, there is always concern because anyone can sue anyone else and since you're a company, most people have little or no compunction about suing you. Speak to your regular lawyer about this on right away. Good luck.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 6/27/2011
    Ewusiak & Roberts, P.A.
    Ewusiak & Roberts, P.A. | Christopher J. Roberts
    Assuming you have liability insurance as a business/property owner, your best bet is to contact your insurance company immediately. They will almost certainly hire a lawyer for you, and they will tell you the steps you should take to ensure that you are protected in the event of a lawsuit, frivolous or otherwise. I am not a Virginia lawyer, so the issue of whether independent contractor employees are generally barred from suing a property owner who hired the contractor in your state, is outside my area. But I can tell you that almost all states have exceptions to the general rules governing these issues, so it is usually impossible to give a blanket answer without more detailed facts.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 2/21/2012
    David F. Stoddard
    David F. Stoddard | David F. Stoddard
    In South Carolina, and in most states, workers compensation is the exclusive remedy against you employer when you are hurt on the job. However, if the injury is a result of some third party's negligence, you have a workers comp claim against the employer and a lawsuit for negligence against the third party. I am assuming the employee was not your employee, but an employee of the company you contracted with. Under South Carolina Law you would not be the injured workers' employer, and he could sue you for negligence (I'm not saying he has a good case, only that he could bring one). If you have a general liability insurance policy, it should defend any such suit. If you do not have one, you should probably get one.
    Answer Applies to: South Carolina
    Replied: 6/27/2011
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