Legal Question in Personal Injury in Arizona

Last fall while working as an intensive care nurse at a hospital in Arizona I was attacked while on the job by a patient with a known psychiatric history. I sustained quite a beating which exacerbated previous injuries from a car accident which forced me to retire from nursing. What legal recourse do I have against the hospital and the patient? What type of attorney should I be looking for to represent me?

Asked on 7/03/10, 3:31 am

1 Answer from Attorneys

Thomas Stillwell Stillwell Law Office, PLLC

Your question is actually miscategorized, but I will answer it here. This is a workers' compensation question. Why? Because you do not have the right to sue your employer for negligence when you are covered by workers' compensation. (This is true in all states.) There are a few, very difficult-to-achieve loopholes, but for purposes of this answer I am going to simply tell you that employer negligence is not an issue.

The patient, of course, is by definition not legally responsible for his/her actions. You can only sue someone for negligence if they have the mental capacity to know that they have a duty to do or not do something.

You can still contact a personal injury attorney to explore ways around the "exclusive remedy" doctrine I've mentioned above. Any board-certified specialist in injury law should know what I'm talking about and be able to talk you through an interview to evaluate whether or not you have any options. If you need any helping making sure you at least get everything to which you are entitled under Workers' Compensation, you should contact a board-certified specialist in that field (like me!)

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Answered on 7/03/10, 9:00 am

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