If you have suffered an injury at your job, your employer may be held legally responsible. Your employer may be required to compensate you for lost wages, medical bills, out-of-pocket expenses, permanent disabilities, survivor benefits and even punitive damages.
Most employers are legally obligated to carry workers’ compensation insurance. However, not all workers are covered by this type of insurance.
Only workers classified as “employees” are covered by workers’ compensation insurance; this excludes independent contractors. In addition, some states do not require employers to cover for undocumented workers, seasonal workers or agricultural workers.
Learn more about workers’ compensation laws in your state, here.
But no matter your employee status or type, you should be aware of your rights.
So what should you do if you are injured on the job?
How To File A Workers’ Compensation Claim
First, you must determine if your injury did indeed occur on the job or is work-related.
To file a claim for workers’ compensation, you must have either been:
- Performing your work duties or,
- Performing other duties on behalf of your employer
You may also be able to file a claim if you were injured at a company event, such as a party, even if the injury did not occur on company property.
Some workers’ compensation policies cover injuries that resulted from your own negligence or disregard of work safety guidelines. Here are a few other considerations when determining if your accident is indeed a work-related injury:
- Did your injury occur while you were on a lunch break? These are not usually considered work-related injuries unless they took place on company grounds, such as the office cafeteria.
- Did your injury result from alcohol or drugs? If the injury occurred at a work function, it may still be considered a work-related injury.
- Did you suffer from a pre-existing condition that worsened as a result of your job? This is usually considered work-related.
- Did you suffer from a mental condition that worsened as a result of your job? On-job injuries are not restricted to physical injuries. If your job exacerbated your mental condition, it may be considered work-related.
What To Do If You Are Eligible For Workers’ Compensation
If you discern you are eligible to receive workers’ compensation from your employer, you may file a claim. However, understand that you are not entitled to sue your employer for the injuries you are filing a claim for.
On the other hand, if your employer fails to compensate you, they could be subject to fines, lawsuits and criminal charges.
Should You Hire A Lawyer For An On-Job Injury?
As you can see, filing a claim for an on-job injury can be complicated. To ensure you understand your rights and receive the compensation you deserve, it’s wise to seek the counsel of a personal injury attorney. An experienced personal injury attorney can guide you through the legal process. If your employer denies your claim, a lawyer may be the most effective solution for getting you the compensation you are entitled to. In addition, if your employer isn’t legally required to provide you with workers’ compensation, they may still be held responsible for your injury.
If you have been injured on the job, contact Dallas personal injury attorney, Amy VanDeLoo of The VanDeLoo Firm. The VanDeLoo Firm provides personal injury services to residents of Dallas, Plano, Allen, Frisco and McKinney, Texas. Contact The VanDeLoo Firm at (972) 200-5080 for a free initial consultation.