There's More To Workplace Injuries Than Workers' Compensation
Many workers think that workers’ compensation is the only option when they experience a work-related injury. Contrary to popular belief, there are other options that you can consider.
If unfortunately, you have been injured at work, it’s great to know that you can receive compensation from the workers’ compensation insurance from your employer. Although this is correct and the general principle, you should know that there are plenty of scenarios where you can sue for the injuries you sustained as well.
Cases that Can Lead To Lawsuits
Here are some circumstances where you can do more than just wait for your insurance.
1. A defective product or machine caused the injury
If you were handling a piece of machinery that was faulty, substandard, or deemed as fundamentally dangerous and you were injured as a result, the manufacturer of that equipment can be held accountable for your injury if they were fully aware of the dangers and failed to provide fair and adequate warning. This accountability includes coverage of your lost wages, medical expenses, and pain.
Talk to a lawyer about your case and your rights as a worker. Additionally, you can also go directly to the Department of Labor’s Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) to formally file a complaint if you are aware that your workplace is allowing such dangerous machinery to be operated and handled by its employees.
2. A toxic or deadly substance caused the injury
Handling dangerous elements at work like asbestos, silica, and radium can have adverse effects on you. These chemicals are known to be toxic and can be a potential cause of illness and extreme injuries. If any of these substances and others not specified cause you any harm, then you may be able to file a “toxic tort” lawsuit.
Generally, there are two different types of toxic injuries:
- latent injuries
- acute injuries
Acute injuries can be seen and felt right away, whereas latent ones take several months to years before they are noticed.
Chemical burns and poisons are considered acute injuries, and the development of lung diseases and cancer falls under latent. As latent injuries take longer to be noticed, they are much more difficult to verify, but you can still file a case.
It is best to get in touch with an attorney for this type of case, especially if there may be a large time difference between the time that you were exposed to the toxic material and the time your symptoms will start to be noticed. Finding an injury lawyer is essential as they can help you get the settlement you deserve. Additionally, if your workplace is still continuously operating the same way and is handling these chemicals despite their workers being injured, file a complaint with OSHA.
3. A third party caused the injury
If the one at fault is a third party, you should sue this other person or entity and make this third party liable for your injuries.
An example of this scenario would be if you were hit by a person who violated traffic rules while on your way to meet a client during your work hours using the company service. You can file a lawsuit against the person who hit you.
A personal injury attorney will come in handy when a third party’s intentional behavior causes you harm and injury. If you don’t know one, check out our lawyer directory for a list of all the lawyers handling such cases based on your geographic location.
4. Your employer's negligent conduct caused the injury
Sometimes, you have little to no say on the tasks required to complete at work. Once your employer provides you with your responsibilities, all safety precautions need to be taken into account. There should also be written reminders for everyone, along with appropriate safety gear and helmets.
If your employer fails to provide you with all the necessary training, briefing, and hands-on practice in a job that can cause you harm, you can sue your employer for negligent behavior. All employers should be considerate and think of the safety of everyone working for them.
You can check your rights and discuss your case with an injury lawyer for the best approach to handle your case.
You may also take legal action against your employer even if they do not carry any workers’ compensation insurance. You can either collect your cash from the state fund or bring this in front of the civil court.
Finding The Right Lawyer For Your workers' Comp Case
As discussed, there are many different ways someone can be injured at work. Before jumping into the lawsuit, it is smart to consult with a personal injury attorney. Most personal injury law firms handle workers’ comp cases, making finding the right attorney difficult because there are so many options. There are big firms, small firms, sole practitioners, and settlement mills. Make sure to do your homework before settling on an attorney, ensuring they’re the right fit for you.