Depending on the case’s complexity, worker compensation can either be simple or settled in court. The case can be expensive for both the injured worker and their employer; therefore, both need to be on the same page after the accident.
For the protection of both parties, all business owners are required to provide workers’ compensation insurance. This covers the employees when an injury occurs at the workplace and also protects the employer from costly lawsuits. Different states have different laws regarding workers’ compensation. For instance, according to the work comp laws in Indiana, a person injured at work is entitled to two-thirds of their weekly wage and medical benefits.
It’s important to remember a worker compensation lawsuit isn’t against the employer but to get compensation for injuries sustained at work. An exception to this could occur if there was discrimination by the employer after filing the workers’ compensation lawsuit or if the injury involved malicious action from the employer. Read on to learn more about worker compensation.
Important Factors to Remember When Filing a Worker Compensation
1. The No-Fault System
The no-fault system means there are no considerations as to who was to blame for the accident. As long as the accident occurred at the workplace or a worker got a disease at the workplace, they are entitled to workers comp benefits provided by their employer.
This system protects employers from lengthy and expensive lawsuits that could bankrupt their business. This also pretty much guarantees employees will receive medical benefits and pay when they take time off to recover.
Because the no-fault system already ensures that the injured worker gets medical benefits. That means the workers’ settlement should cover all hospital bills in full, although it also depends on your state. Some are generous, like Washington, while some, like California and Texas, are not.
3. Does Worker Compensation Cover You?
In states such as California, employers are required to provide Workers Compensation insurance to their employees. However, in other places, you might not have that option, or you may not be eligible. You might be working for a company, organization, or business but not eligible for compensation for workplace-related injuries or sickness. For example, if you are a volunteer or an independent contractor, you cannot file for workers’ compensation.
If your injury occurred in the workplace or as a result of negligence, you could still get compensation by filing a standard personal injury lawsuit.
4. Circumstances That Allow You to File a Personal Injury Lawsuit Against Your Employer
All worker compensation cases should cover injuries and suffering caused by accidents and occupational diseases, not to punish your employer. However, some circumstances could warrant separate lawsuits to pursue compensation when negligence and malicious intent are involved. If your employer intentionally caused you harm, e.g., by physical violence, then you can separate your claim.
You can file for workers compensation through your company and then pursue civil action against the individual involved in harming you.
5. Third-Party Lawsuits
Individuals can sometimes sue third parties that caused your injuries. Instances include manufacturers that made defective products used in machines at work, negligent drivers that caused an accident on your way to work, local government for not maintaining roads used while driving during work hours, etc. This means that your payout after both settlements might be substantial if you win.
Finding the Right Lawyer for Your Worker Compensation Claim
You will need an experienced lawyer who can advise you on your options whenever unfortunate events occur at the workplace. They will offer you the best strategies and will work doggedly to win you maximum compensation.