Getting injured on the job can be a tricky and sometimes overwhelming situation for both the person who got hurt and the employer. While most businesses have safeguards in place to make sure their employees get the care and compensation they deserve after an accident, there are some instances where you may need to take matters into your own hands.
There are a few major things you’ll need to decide. First, do you plan on going back to work once your injury has healed? If so, you probably don’t want to make waves with the employer. Getting into a legal battle probably won’t result in you getting your job back, and if it means that much to you, trying to work things out directly with the company is probably the better way to go.
You also need to ask yourself if your rights are being handled properly. Is the company doing everything they can to compensate you for the injury? Are they helping with medical bills or paying you for the time you’ve had to miss work? Or, are they refusing to acknowledge your injury? If that’s the case, you may need to file a workers’ compensation lawsuit.
Knowing Your Rights After a Workplace Injury
Injuries at work are unfortunately quite common, especially in specific industries like construction, roofing, painting, window cleaning, and factory work. While some employers might offer up insurance for workers’ compensation, not every state requires that businesses do so. If your employer doesn’t, you could be left with nothing if you do experience a fall or other injury on the job – that is, if you don’t take action, yourself.
One of the reasons people get so confused about workers’ compensation is because they don’t know all of their rights. Up to 20% of employerschoose to fight back against workers’ comp lawsuits, and their success record is often because the injured parties aren’t fully aware of everything they need to do to build a case. From filing the proper paperwork to gathering as much evidence as possible, it can be overwhelming for someone who already had to go through the suffering and pain of an injury to put up a fight against an employer (especially one with a hefty legal team).
But, when you take the time to educate yourself about your rights and know what you can do to fight back, you can win your lawsuit and finally get the compensation you truly deserve.
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)states that employers need to provide reasonable accommodations for employees who are disabled or injured. The gray area occurs because there are varying definitions of what “reasonable” really means, and it can get even murkier if your employer is responsible for your disability. If your place of employment doesn’t offer workers’ compensation insurance, filing a lawsuit against them for recompense or an ADA violation will be even more difficult without a lot of evidence, proper documentation, and a great attorney.
Mistakes to Avoid When Filing for Workers’ Comp
Though filing a lawsuit against your employer can be difficult, it’s not impossible. Even if you have an experienced attorney on your side, one of the best things you can do (aside from providing a lot of evidence!) is to avoid making common mistakes. Some of these include:
- Not filing the right paperwork.
- Not filing the paperwork on time.
- Administrative errors on your forms.
- Not notifying your employer.
- Not double-checking the facts with your insurance company.
Again, it might seem like a losing battle if you’re going up against an employer with a lot of money and an experienced legal team. But, if you’re diligent about your lawsuit and you avoid making these mistakes, you can end up getting the compensation you truly deserve.
Finding a New Job
If you don’t plan on returning to your place of employment, you’re going to have to respectfully resign. Even if you’re not happy with the way your employer handled things after your injury, it’s a good idea to leave on the best terms possible. This might require you to “be the bigger person” and that’s not always easy, but it will be less stressful on you and might make it easier to find another job if future potential employers call your old place of business for information.
One of the best ways to resign gracefully is to give your boss plenty of notice that you plan on leaving. Learn how to write a respectful resignation letter, and communicate in the most appropriate manner possible for the situation. If you haven’t been back to your place of employment since your injury, an email or phone call might suffice.
When looking for a new job, it’s important to know how to put together a resume that can get noticed. You don’t have to have a knack for art or design to put together a solid resume. Find a resume template that fits your sense of style and simply fill in the necessary information. If you haven’t been on a job hunt in a while, educating yourself on different industries of interest and what really can stand out on an application will be a big help.
Obviously, no one expects or wants to get injured on the job. The possibility of injury exists in any field, though, and it can happen to anyone. While you can’t plan for getting injured, knowing how your current or future company handles such situations beforehand will be helpful in the unfortunate event something happens. And if something has already occurred, and you struggling to get the benefits you deserve, it may be time to contact a professional.