Hard-working employees give their all to their job for the company’s benefit, but they may injure themselves while handling their job duties. Harm sustained from on-the-job injuries may require help from a workplace accident lawyer from William Schwitzer & Associates.
Even if your employer has workers’ compensation insurance, you still deserve to understand your rights and know when you may have a personal injury case and a workers’ comp case.
The law provides workers’ compensation benefits to employees who receive injuries on the clock while carrying out standard work duties. The laws differ from state to state and for federal government employees and workers in different industries.
In most states, every business owner must carry workers’ compensation insurance to cover injured workers.
The reason for workers’ comp laws is to provide injured workers with monetary compensation for medical treatment. Workers’ comp protects workers by covering medical costs resulting from workplace injuries and awarding temporarily and permanently disabled employees with appropriate compensation.
Because harmed employees receive compensation for their injuries, they need not take legal action against an employer. In fact, a harmed worker may lose the right to take legal action against her or his employer by accepting a workers’ comp settlement.
Even then, accident victims could have a personal injury claim to explore with help from a work injury lawyer.
Workers’ comp laws in New York differ from regulations in other states. Some states exempt certain workers from filing a claim, such as independent contractors, agricultural workers and domestic employees. In some states, business owners must only carry workers’ comp if they have a certain number of workers.
Injured employees not covered by a company’s insurance policy may file a claim against their employer or a negligent third party.
While harmed workers may not have the option to sue their employer after filing a workers’ comp claim, they still have other rights they deserve to know about. For instance, employees may file a claim with the state industrial court or workers’ comp court.
Injured workers also have the right to see a physician and receive medical treatment. Those who receive permission to return to their regular work duties have the legal right to go back to work, and those who cannot work because of a permanent or temporary disability could receive disability benefits.
Workers do not always agree with their doctor’s diagnosis, their employer or the employer’s insurance provider. If not, they may appeal the decision with help from a workplace injury attorney.
Employees also reserve the right to refuse specific offers and requests. For instance, if a company asks the employee to use her or his own insurance to treat an injury sustained on the clock, the person may refuse.
Some companies offer their workforce incentives for not filing a workers’ comp claim, and employees have the right to refuse those incentives.
Companies that create obstacles for workers who wish to file a claim may face severe penalties. Bosses may try to make life hard for an employee who wants to exercise her or his rights, which they cannot do.
Only specific injuries qualify for filing a compensation claim:
Workers’ comp does not apply to all workplace harm. For example, if an employee engages in horseplay at work and becomes injured, she or he does not qualify for a claim.
The same applies if the worker consumes alcohol or uses illegal substances, causes an accident and sustains injuries. Those injured while running a personal errand away from the office may need to use their personal medical insurance policy to cover their medical bills rather than file a workers’ comp claim.
While harmed employees may think they cannot work with a work injury lawyer if they file a workers’ comp claim, they could file a third-party negligence claim. For instance, when negligent companies release defective products that injure innocent parties using the item correctly, the manufacturer could face a third-party personal injury suit from the harmed person.
Rather than workers’ comp court, employees instead file third-party claims in federal or state court.
Personal injury claims plaintiffs may file include:
One reason a person may file a personal injury claim rather than pursue a workers’ compensation claim is to recover pain and suffering damages, which do not apply to work injury claims. Another reason to file a claim is if an injured worker receives insufficient temporary or permanent disability that does not account for mental anguish and future medical bills.
A harmed employee may feel her or his employer displayed negligence in preventing dangerous workplace conditions or enacting substandard safety controls, which may end in the person seeking punitive damages in a personal injury suit.
Did you hurt yourself at work recently?
Even if your company covers your harm and resulting medical bills due to a work-related injury, you still have rights to protect. Consider speaking with a workplace injury attorney experienced with navigating workers’ comp and personal injury law.
William Schwitzer & Associates law firm has a solid record of excellence in protecting our clients’ rights, winning maximum compensation, and looking out for their interests when employers refuse to.
For a free consultation, call 212-683-3800 or submit an online form at your convenience.