Q: I sustained an injury at work when someone drove a forklift into my foot. I now require the use of a special boot to continue driving a truck for my job. The Department of Labor and Industries closed my claim six months ago. My boot has worn out and needs to be replaced. What can I do?
Typically a special boot, if considered a prosthesis, can be paid for by the Department of Labor and Industries without having to apply to reopen the claim, if it is known that it is required due to the industrial injury. You should contact the Department of Labor and Industries. In addition, your question raises another issue, and that is whether or not the forklift driver was working for someone besides your employer. You may have the right to pursue a personal injury claim under what is called a “Third Party Action”. You typically have three years to bring a lawsuit for this type of claim. A third party claim allows you to recover damages for pain and suffering, emotional distress, loss of enjoyment of life, etc. Learn more about workers’ compensation claims.