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Personal Injury Lawyer
If you’ve recently suffered injury or injuries on the job, you may be wondering if you’re entitled to any compensation as a result of your harm. The answer to your question will depend upon the nature of your injuries, how they were sustained, and your job classification. Generally speaking, you’re entitled to compensation if you’re covered by workers’ compensation insurance and your harm is work-related. You also may be entitled to personal injury damages if another’s actions or inactions directly contributed to the cause(s) of your harm.
Seeking Personal Injury Damages
As an experienced personal injury lawyer – including those who practice at Schehr Law, PLLC – can confirm, workers are generally in a strong position to seek personal injury damages if another’s recklessness, negligence, or intentional action contributed to the cause(s) of their injuries. For example, if a faulty piece of equipment causes injury, a worker may be able to sue the manufacturer of that equipment. If a worker slips on an ill-maintained surface, they may be in a position to sue the property owner responsible for maintaining that surface. Or, if a co-worker starts a fight and someone is hurt as a result of that aggressive action, the injury victim may be in a position to sue the co-worker (and potentially the building owner, if negligent security played a part in the circumstances in question).
Workers’ Compensation Benefits
Applying for workers’ compensation benefits is a distinct process from pursuing personal injury damages. Meaning, you can apply for workers’ comp benefits – assuming that you’re eligible for this coverage – regardless of whether you choose to file a personal injury lawsuit related to your circumstances.
Workers’ compensation isn’t a fault-based system. Therefore, you may be in a position to pursue this avenue of compensation regardless of whether another’s negligence, recklessness, or intentionally dangerous conduct played a role in what happened to you. You may be eligible for compensation for harm caused by repetitive stress on the job, work-related exacerbation of preexisting conditions, or even accidents that you caused. As long as you weren’t picking a fight, trying to defraud the system, or drunk/high at the time you sustained your injuries, you should be able to receive benefits for work-related harm caused either at a traditional jobsite or offsite.
Note that applying for workers’ comp benefits is (arguably) an unreasonably time-sensitive challenge. Depending upon where you live and where you’re filing, you may only have a few days to start this process before you’ll be barred from seeking compensation. Act fast to explore your legal options if your harm is work-related.
A Note About Suing Your Employer
If you’re eligible for workers’ compensation benefits, know that you cannot name your employer as a defendant in any personal injury lawsuit that you may choose to file. When employers invest in workers’ comp insurance for their employees, they’re shielded from personal injury liability in the event that those employees suffer work-related physical harm.