When you’ve been hurt on the job, the last thing you should have to worry about is money. You shouldn’t have to deal with the costs of medical treatment, the wages you’re losing, or any other financial pain. You should be able to focus on recovering and healing from your injuries. Thankfully, if your employer carries workers’ compensation insurance, you may be able to do just that. In many cases, the insurance provider will take care of your medical bills, lost wages, and more, so you can recover in peace. Unfortunately, not all employers carry workers’ comp insurance, and even if they do, it sometimes doesn’t cover all types of injuries. If you’re hurt on the job and workers’ comp won’t help, it may be time to take legal action and file a work injury claim.
How to File a Work Injury Claim
WHAT IS A WORK INJURY CLAIM?
A work injury claim or personal injury claim is a legal claim filed in civil court in the event of a work-related injury not fully covered by worker’s compensation. It also differs from a worker's compensation claim in that it also can include punitive damages. A work injury claim can help ensure you’re compensated for all the expenses and costs you’ve had to incur from your accident. It can cover your medical bills, pay your wages while you’re away recovering, and even cover transportation costs to and from your treatments.
All in all, a workplace injury claim may compensate you for:
- Any medical expense you incur, including current costs, prescription expenses, and any treatments you expect in the future, such as rehabilitation, therapy, and more.
- Lost income and wages you’ve racked up from being unable to work.
- Income and benefits you will lose in the future if your injury has rendered you unable to do your job.
- Any property that was damaged during the course of your accident.
- Punitive damages, if the employer, coworker, or other party involved was extremely reckless or negligent in their behavior.
- The pain and suffering you and your family have had to endure.
- Any reduction in your quality of life because of the injury.
There may be other types of damages available, too. To determine the damages your specific case could garner you, it’s best to speak to a qualified legal professional who can evaluate your injury and accident to the fullest.
WHEN CAN FILE A WORK INJURY CLAIM?
Workers’ compensation is not the answer to every injury that occurs in the workplace. In fact, sometimes it’s not even possible. There are a number of situations in which a legal work injury claim is either the only choice or could garner the victim more compensation. Some of these include:
- Your employer doesn’t have workers’ compensation insurance.
- Your employer intentionally caused your accident or was extremely negligent in causing it.
- You have injuries that were the result of exposure to toxic chemicals in the workplace.
- Your injuries stemmed from a defective product, piece of equipment, or machine.
- Your accident was caused by a third party, such as another worker, a subcontractor, a property owner, or some other person on the scene.
If your employer does have workers’ compensation, and the accident was not caused by a third party and did not involve toxic exposure, a defective product, or extreme negligence, you will be forced to seek compensation through your employer’s workers’ comp insurance provider.
GETTING STARTED & SEEKING LEGAL ASSISTANCE
Notifying your employer is your first step if you were injured in a work-related accident. If your employer has workers’ compensation coverage, they will begin the claims process with their insurer. You will have to go through them for compensation. However, you may also choose to speak to an attorney for guidance. If there are undue delays regarding your claim or you have problems getting the funds you are due are instances when you should speak to an attorney.
If your employer informs you they do not have workers’ comp, then get in contact with a lawyer as soon as possible. They’ll be able to advise you on the legal action you should take and help you file your work injury claim. An experienced attorney can help you get the compensation you deserve.
Injured on the job? Contact the Law Offices of Pat Maloney today at (210) 934-6609 or request a free consultation by filling out the form on this page.