When Should I Get a Work Injury Lawyer ?
A work injury lawyer is someone who specializes in representing workers who claim to have been injured physically or even psychologically due to conditions in their work place.
By law, most workers are supposed to be covered by workers compensation system. Within this system, the employer is required to pay a workers compensation insurance premium for all his employees. Therefore, in case there is an accident at work, this insurance policy is supposed to provide compensation in the form of cash support and medical care to the injured/ill employee. Employees who file a claim for workers compensation also relinquish their right to sue their employer for what happened to them at work.
This seems like a cut and dried approach, so one would wonder what role a work injury lawyer would play here. The thing is, a lot of times, things are a lot more complicated. Here are some instances of how a work injury lawyer would be needed:
- If the employee was intentionally harmed by his employer
- If the employee was exposed to defective products then he or she could file a products liability action
- If the employee was exposed to toxic products, then the employee has a right to file a toxic tort lawsuit
- If the employee’s claim was contested by the employer and his or her appeals were denied by the board, the administrative judge and the workers compensation department.
- If a third party was the reason for your injury, then you can file a personal injury lawsuit against them too
- If you are not covered by workers compensation insurance as you are an independent contractor, a business owner, a consultant, working as a maid/housekeeper in a private home, etc.
- In some states, an employers don’t have to pay workers compensation if they have less than a certain number of employees.
Workers compensation will pay for medical bills directly related to the injury caused by the workplace accident. It will also pay a very modest sum if a person’s injury does not allow him to go back to the same work and so is getting a lower wage. Workers compensation will also help with retraining costs.
It will not cover the cost of the pain and suffering a person goes through during and after an injury. Retraining and rehabilitation are not always possible. And if a person has been rendered disabled, then he or she has to go through the stressful process of applying for disability insurance.
Additionally, workers compensation does not punish an employer for poor safety protocols and/or dangerous or unhygienic working conditions.
While you can file complaints against your employer at the Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration, it will not solve your problem. This is where a good work injury lawyer can help you.