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Employee Injuries

Employee Injuries

accidents_at_work

There are Worker’s Compensation Laws in effect which protect employees who are hurt on the job. Employers are generally required to furnish worker’s compensation insurance. This insurance covers employee injuries irrespective of how the accident occurred and who is at fault. The only requirement is that the employee be injured during the “course and scope” of his or her employment or, in other words, while on the job.

An employee who is injured on the job can file a claim with the worker’s compensation carrier for benefits. In general, workers compensation provides replacement income (2/3’s of the employee’s salary while injured), payment of medical expenses, and vocational rehabilitation benefits if necessary. Employees may also be eligible for life-long benefits or a lump sum payment if they are permanently hurt while on the job. A key difference with worker’s compensation, however, is that employees do not get to collect “pain and suffering damages” which is a large component of personal injury claims.

Employees who are hurt on the job may also have a “third party” claim against the person that caused the accident, if that person is not the employer. In many circumstances employees are hurt on the job by someone other than their employer. In that case the employee can and should pursue both a worker’s compensation claim and a civil claim against the responsible party. This is important because the employee can recover “pain and suffering damages in the third party claim, but not the worker’s compensation claim!

What To Do After A Work Accident…

After a work related accident you must do what is necessary to protect yourself and your legal rights. We suggest the following:

  • Call the police and paramedics if necessary.
  • Obtain the names and addresses of all witnesses right away. They may need to leave the scene and go about their business.
  • Obtain a disposable camera and photograph the accident scene and what caused the accident. If you cannot take photographs take extensive notes about what happened.
  • Report the accident to your employer and obtain a claim form to be submitted to the worker’s compensation insurance carrier, but do not give an extensive statement until you have spoken with a lawyer.
  • Make a notation for your records of how the accident occurred. Be sure to note the date and time of the accident, location of the accident, names of all witnesses, names of the persons involved, weather conditions, and what you were wearing at the time. Keep all clothing or other physical evidence which confirms the accident.
  • Consult a lawyer immediately. A lawyer can help you fill out the claim forms, preserve evidence, and analyze the case to determine if there are 3rd parties that may be responsible to you. A lawyer will help you obtain the appropriate medical care and ensure that you receive the money to which you are entitled.

Remember That Time Is Of The Essence…

You should not delay in speaking with a lawyer after an accident, no matter how minor the accident may be. A successful case must be investigated immediately. Evidence must be preserved. Additionally, the law provides certain time limitations in which action must be taken. If the required action is not taken within that time, your case will be lost forever!

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