If you have been injured while at work there are some things you can do which could protect your legal rights.
It’s likely that you will be able to claim workers’ compensation benefits if you have been injured in the workplace. Almost every lawyer is required by law to provide workers’ compensation insurance for all of their employees.
If you have suffered an injury in the workplace the information below could help to protect your legal rights.
Filing an Accident Report
Many parts of the United States have short deadlines and these deadlines need to be adhered to if you wish to report an accident so you’re covered by workers’ compensation laws. It is, therefore, important that you report the accident regardless of whether you have been injured.
It’s still worth you filing a report even if you have walked away unharmed. This is because the report could make your employer add new safety measures to the workplace. These new safety measures could prevent another injury from occurring.
What’s more, is the accident report will protect you even if it takes weeks or months for you to experience any symptoms.
Lawsuits That May be Barred Under Workers’ Compensation Laws
Every part of the United States apart from Texas requires employers to have workers’ compensation insurance. This insurance ensures that for the most part employees are unable to sue their employer for injuries they have sustained in the workplace. The downside to this (For employers) is that the injured party does not have to prove that an employer’s negligence caused their injury. The employee can even receive compensation if their own behavior (Negligence) caused their injury.
There is an exception to this rule, however, and it refers to lawsuits that involve exposure to asbestos. If you suffer from Mesothelioma or any other health issues that relate to asbestos exposure you could sue your employer for damages. It may also be possible for you to sue a 3 rd party for damages. In cases such as these it’s vital you get the help and advice of injury lawyer. This is because they can help you to navigate the legal minefield of compensation claims.
When Alcohol or Drugs Were Involved
In some case, injuries sustained in the workplace will not be covered by workers’ compensation laws. If an employee was under the influence of alcohol or drugs at the time of the accident their injuries won’t be covered. Some employers require their employees to undergo drug tests if they have been injured.
Injuries and accidents in the workplace that occur when traveling to work are usually exempt. If you were involved in horseplay or fighting in the workplace it’s likely your injuries will usually be excluded from coverage
Speak to a Doctor
If you have been injured at work you should speak to a doctor as soon as you can. If you need to go to the emergency room make sure you do. If you have not been seriously injured ask your employer if they require you to see a doctor pf their choosing or if you can speak to any doctor.
If your employer asks you to see a specific doctor but you’re not happy with the outcome you should consider seeing a doctor that you have chosen. The workers’ compensation laws may mean you are entitled to get a second opinion.
If the compensation will not pay for you to speak to another doctor you may have to pay to see a doctor yourself.
Reporting your Injuries
Your employer needs to file a claim. However, they can only do this when they are aware that you have been injured. If you told your employer about the accident but you were unaware of any injuries at the time you should tell your employer. Make sure you follow it up so that you know a workers’ compensation claim has been filed. You can ask your employer for a copy of the claim.
Get Legal Help
You may wish to speak to an injury lawyer before you file a workers’ compensation claim. The initial consultation is likely to be free. The consultation can help you to understand what benefits you could receive from your claim.