Everyone goes to work expecting the day to go by without a serious incident. But, as we all know, that isn’t how it always goes. Accidents happen, and some of them result in on-the-job injuries. Outside of workers’ compensation, you might be able to file a workplace injury lawsuit. However, you must meet certain situational requirements, and it is helpful to know the pros and cons of worker’s comp claims and lawsuits. That way, you can know whether you need to hire a personal injury lawyer to fight for you.
Know Your Rights
There are many circumstances under which you can file a workplace injury lawsuit, either to supplement or avoid the workers’ compensation process. If your injuries were caused by defective or faulty machinery, equipment, products, or tools, you can file a lawsuit. Also, if your injuries resulted from someone’s intentional actions on the job, an injury or illness due to toxic substance exposure while working, injuries caused by a third party, or a situation in which your employer doesn’t provide workers’ compensation insurance, you have the right to file a lawsuit. You can even file if you were involved in an auto accident while on the job.
Get Your Documents Together
Getting your documents together is essential if you wish to pursue a lawsuit against an employer. You will need to seek medical treatment right away so you have documentation of the injury and treatment. You also need to tell your supervisor or employer about how, where, and when the injury happened. Be sure to submit a written notice to your employer within 30 days of the incident. Maintaining an open line of communication with the insurance provider is also essential.
Benefits You Might Be Entitled To
You could be entitled to damages for your workplace injury. Damages can vary by case and are dependent on factors like lost wages and medical care expenses. You might also have leeway to file other claims, such as a product liability case if, for example, a defective machine caused your injury. A worker comp attorney will be best equipped to help you figure out everything to which you are entitled.
Pros and Cons of Workers’ Lawsuits vs Workers’ Comp Claims
Filing a workers’ comp claim is a quicker solution to receiving benefits for a workplace injury. However, payments for temporary or permanent disability can be minuscule and won’t fully compensate for all of the damages available to you in terms of a lawsuit. Workers’ comp claims do not cover things like pain and suffering or punitive damages for an employer’s hazardous working conditions or lack of safety control.
Furthermore, if you’ve become disabled and cannot work, you might be entitled to government benefits like Social Security disability insurance (SSI or SSDI). Filing for those can be difficult and lengthy but having a personal injury lawyer can expedite the process and increase your likelihood of getting approved.
After you’ve sustained a workplace injury, you might be able to file a personal injury lawsuit, even if you have also filed a workers’ comp claim. Talking with a lawyer about your situation is important since they can pinpoint your damages and benefits as well as advocate for you against your employer and their legal team.