Getting injured on the job is no laughing matter. A serious workplace injury can mean huge medical bills as well as the loss of income if you are unable to return to work. One question that sometimes arises in workplace injuries is whether going through the workers' compensation system or filing a lawsuit outside of the workers' comp system is more appropriate. The following article addresses some of the most important aspects of this topic.
Most employers carry workers' comp insurance. In a typical case, you will probably go through the workers' compensation system to receive compensation for any medical bills and lost income. For the average employee whose employer carries worker compensation insurance, the law will bar them from seeking redress in a civil suit with some exceptions.
To get started with the process of filing a claim for workers' compensation benefits, you must first inform your employer that you have been injured on the job. Of course, you may have to wait till you have received medical treatment to do this but do it as quickly as possible because state laws have time limits on how long you have to get this done. Informing the employer in writing is best.
After informing the employer, you need to fill out the claim forms and file them with your state's workers' comp board. You can get the forms from your employer or find them online. If the claim is denied by the board, then you need to hire a work injury attorney who specializes in workers' comp cases to help you navigate the complex appeals process.
Workplace Injury Lawsuit
In some cases, you could have the option of filing a lawsuit against the employer or another party that bears some responsibility for your injury. For example, some states do not require employers who have very few workers, such as between two and five, to carry workers' compensation insurance. In this instance, you should be able to file a civil suit against the employer.
Also, if you were injured as a result of a defective tool or piece of equipment, you could go outside of the workers' comp system and file a lawsuit against the manufacturer of the defective product. You could file a lawsuit if a third party injures you while you are working for your employer as well.
One advantage of suing in court is that it might bring you higher compensation than a workers' comp settlement since most states place a cap on these settlements. To find out whether a civil lawsuit is possible in your case, contact a work injury attorney in your area.
Reach out to a work injury lawyer near you for more info.