If you’re hurt on the job, knowing who’s to blame is crucial. When you know who holds liability for your accident, you can then take action and ensure you’re properly compensated for your injuries. If there’s employer responsibility, and your organization is to blame for your pain, you may be able to file for workers’ compensation while you recover. If they’re not to blame, or they don’t have adequate insurance, you could have to seek recompense through the legal system.
However, when exactly is there employer responsibility in a workplace accident? And when do you need to look elsewhere for the compensation you’re due? Check out our guide below.
When is There Employer Responsibility?
If you’re hurt on the job, there is inherent employer responsibility when it comes to your injuries. Your employer is fully responsible for providing you a safe and hazard-free work environment, and when their failure to do so results in injury, they can be held liable. This rule applies to the majority of workplace injuries, save for a few exceptions.
These exceptions include:
- If your accident or injury was caused by a third party. This could include a co-worker, a contractor, a property owner, a building manager, and more. In this case, your legal claim would need to be filed against the third party, not your employer, even though you were on the job at the time of your injury.
- If you were hurt by a defective product.
- If a tool, piece of equipment, or machine with a defective part or faulty design was the source of your injury, you will not be able to file suit against your employer. You would instead need to take legal action against the manufacturer of the product in question.
- If your injury stemmed from a toxic substance. If you were hurt on the job because of exposure to a harmful or toxic chemical or substance, there is no employer responsibility for your injuries. You would need to file a legal claim against the manufacturer of the substance or chemical, not your employer.
If any of these exceptions apply to your injuries, you would not be able to seek compensation from your employer’s workers’ comp coverage or through a legal claim against them.
When Employer Responsibility is Evident
When you’re hurt on the job and no third parties, toxic substances, or defective products are involved, the employer's responsibility is evident. In order to seek the compensation you are due, you’ll need to take one of two routes: either go through workers’ compensation or file a legal claim against your employer.
If your employer does not have workers’ compensation coverage, you’ll need to contact an attorney and consider filing a legal claim against them. If they do have coverage, you may not take legal action against them. You can only seek recompense through their insurance policy. To do this, you will need to notify your employer of your injuries as soon as possible. In fact, in Texas, in order to be eligible for the benefits of workers’ comp, you must report your injuries to your employer within 30 days of them happening. If you fail to do this, you will be unable to seek compensation through workers’ comp.
Once you’ve notified your employer, you will need to file the appropriate forms with the Texas Division of Workers’ Compensation and work with your employer to file your claim. You will likely need to use employer-approved physicians for any treatment you require if you want to seek repayment for your medical bills.
Is There Employer Responsibility in Your Case?
Oftentimes, liability can be murky when it comes to injuries on the job. If you’re unsure who’s to blame for your workplace accident, consult a qualified attorney before taking any action. They’ll be able to evaluate your case, determine employer responsibility (or lack thereof), and help you take the appropriate legal action. Contact the Law Offices of Pat Maloney for help with your workplace injury case today!