When to Hire a Work Accident Lawyer
Dec 14, 2021
Workplace injuries can be devastating and can radically alter your life and your future ability to earn. If you or your loved one have been injured at the workplace, hiring a work accident lawyer is often the right thing to do.
Sustaining an injury at the workplace usually entitles an injured employee to workers' compensation. Read on to understand when to hire a work accident lawyer, what constitutes a workplace accident, and what to do as a victim of a workplace accident.
The Right Time to Hire Work Accident Lawyers
When you have been injured in a work accident, it can be difficult to know when to involve a work accident lawyer. But there are a few situations in which it's vital that you do so:
Your Accident Claim Has Been Denied
Employers and insurance companies are always seeking ways to evade paying workers' compensation claims. Common reasons for denying an accident claim are:
- Delay in bringing the claim leading to missing the deadline
- Disagreement whether the injury is work-related
- Filing a claim after you left your employment
- Lack of witnesses to the incident
- An illicit drug detected in the employee's system
- Discrepancies between the accident report and the medical report
- Inadequate information to prove the injury
If your accident claim is denied for any reason, including the above, you should not hesitate to involve a work accident lawyer.
Compensation Has Not Been Given
If you have not been compensated after filing your claim, you should hire a work accident lawyer.
What Constitutes a Workplace Accident?
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration defines a workplace accident as an ''unplanned event that results in personal injury or property damage.” A workplace accident is a sudden event at the workplace that results in physical of mental injury.
Physical Injuries: What’s Included?
Physical injuries at the workspace can take any of the following forms:
- Falls, slips, and trips leading to sprains, broken bones, or other traumatic injuries
- Repetitive motion injuries like carpal tunnel
- Objects falling on an employee
- Injury caused by exposure to toxic substances
- Injury caused by overexertion, like lifting a heavy object
Emotional Distress: What is it?
Work environments usually carry a level of stress, and some jobs are inherently stressful. But a workplace can become hostile, leading to emotional distress. Emotional distress happens when a worker is subjected to acute mental harm at the workplace. It can result from bullying, sexual or other forms of harassment, victimization, and discrimination.
The law recognizes two forms of emotional distress: intentionally inflicted emotional distress and negligently inflicted emotional distress. While it may be tricky to know when you're emotionally distressed at work (as opposed to ordinary stress), a work accident lawyer can help you make the determination.
What to Do as an Accident Victim
Take the following steps after a work accident to ensure you receive maximum compensation.
Get medical help: If the injury requires immediate medical attention, get help immediately. You might resort to the closest emergency center to tend to the injury, but also ensure you get a detailed check-up and medical report as soon as possible.
Report the accident: This is the first thing you should do in case of a minor injury or an accident that does not result in injury. Some injuries may take days, weeks, or even months to show up. You want to ensure your employer is aware of the accident in case injuries develop after the fact. Demand a copy of the workplace injury form, fill it out, submit it, and keep a copy of the report.
File a claim: Different states have different deadlines for filing workers' compensation claims. File your claim as soon as possible.
Retain a work accident lawyer: An experienced work accident lawyer can help you navigate the entire process and ensure you are adequately compensated.
The Proper Steps Your Workplace Should Take
If an employee is injured at work, the employer should do the following:
Gather Information Related to the Accident
Immediately after a worker reports a workplace accident, the employer should investigate and document everything relating to the accident, including what happened, who was involved, and who may have witnessed the incident.
Submit an Accident Claim
The employer should also assist the employee in submitting an accident claim with the company’s insurance provider.
What Happens if Legal Liability Falls on the Company?
Companies have a responsibility to purchase workers' compensation insurance to cover compensation. A company will be personally liable to cover compensation costs if it fails to purchase insurance.
An employer can also be sued if the workplace accident was due to the employer's intentional improper conduct or negligence.
What Costs Can be Covered?
Workers compensation may cover:
- Medical expenses, including rehabilitation expenses such as physical therapy
- Salary compensation for missed earnings
- Compensation for fatal accidents
- Funeral costs
Should You Hire a Work Accident Lawyer?
Employers and insurance companies have a vast knowledge of how workers' compensation works. Most employees do not have that knowledge. Finding a work accident lawyer to guide you and fight on your behalf if necessary is often the right choice. Our team of experienced work accident lawyers are ready to help – contact us today.
Meet with us.
If you are struggling with a serious injury, or are fighting against seemingly impossible odds against big corporations, insurance companies or the government, call us to speak with our team of trial lawyers who will fight for you. We take no fee unless we earn it by winning your case.