Dealing with any kind of personal injury can be quite daunting, especially if it happens while you are at work. As a victim, this might seem like a unique situation, but it happens more often than you might think. In most cases, employers are liable to pay the damages for any work-related injury by compensating for the treatment or accommodations. More importantly, employers in most states offer workers’ compensation insurance for employees who may sustain injuries at work.
Even then, many industries such as the railroad industry, or independent contractors do not offer such compensation, making it difficult for workers to get paid for the damages they incur as a result of an on-the-job injury. In rare instances, you might even want to sue the employer for the negligence of safety regulations, if the injury is caused due to such circumstances. In such cases, you have two options:
- Claim compensation directly from the employer
- Hire a personal injury lawyer to sue your employer in civil court
In some states, if the employer does not have enough funds to compensate for your treatment, you can claim compensation from a state trust fund, established for uninsured employers.
However, if you have no option but to sue your employer in civil court, the process is much more detailed and complicated. The lawsuit has to be prepared and presented with due diligence at every step and requires the expertise of a personal injury lawyer to justify and counter any claims made by your employer that can hurt your case. Here are a few things that you would need to consider in such a scenario:
Ensure the injury is work-related
Ensuring that your injury is work-related has a lot to do with the environment, time, and the parties present when you sustain the injury. One of the main considerations is that you should not be under the influence of drugs or alcohol when the injury takes place. It is also important to assess the exact events that led to your injury i.e. machinery, negligence of a colleague, or intentional harm to determine whether it is work-related.
Furthermore, if the injury is caused as a result of a long-term condition that you have been harboring, it is not considered work-related. The injury should have taken place within your work premises, and within your work timing for it to be considered work-related.
Know your rights
When you get injured on the job, you have many rights that you can exercise based on the circumstances. For starters, you have the right to seek medical help and claim compensation for it from your employer. If the sustained injury forces you to take a few days/weeks off, you have the right to ask for compensation for those days from your employer.
Moreover, if the injuries have rendered you permanently disabled, you have the right to claim disability compensation. Most importantly, you have the right to be represented by a personal injury lawyer from the get-go. Lastly, if you were injured as a result of the employer’s intentional conduct or ignorance, you can file a personal injury claim.
Be Honest with Lawyer
After researching and studying up on all your available options, if you feel that you want to sue your employer, you might want to hire a lawyer to take it forward, right away. Once you hire a lawyer, you need to ensure that you are forthcoming with them. In case of a work-related injury, you should be able to provide a complete account of the incident and any surrounding details that might play a role in the lawsuit.
For starters, you want to be honest if people were involved in the events leading up to your injury, the activity that you were involved with, and your employer’s involvement during and post the injury. Remember: your employer is likely to seek legal counsel to counter your claims and present information that might refute your version of the events. Your lawyer should be able to recognize such a scenario and counter it effectively so that they can negotiate an appropriate settlement for your claim.
Filing a personal injury lawsuit is never an easy process, especially if you are going against your employer in a civil court. While most claims easily translate into settlements, your employer will attempt to present their defense standpoint just as aggressively. As a victim, you have multiple options for seeking some kind of compensation even if your employer does not provide workers’ compensation. Study up on your rights and hire a good lawyer to represent you in court so that you