Can I Pursue Legal Action If I Am Injured At Work?

A work-related injury can leave an employee wondering if they have the ability to take legal action for their losses. While workers’ compensation varies depending upon the state that you live, following a work-related injury there may be some situations that warrant taking legal action with guidance from a workers’ compensation lawyer. Facing this type of situation will certainly leave you with a number of questions:

What is workers’ compensation?

Workers’ compensation is a form of insurance that provides employees who are injured on the job with a number of benefits. Most employees have the ability to access workers’ compensation benefits that may provide:

  • Medical Care
  • A Percentage of Your Wages, Usually 66.67% of Weekly Wages
  • Expenses Related to Treatment
  • Job Retraining
  • Temporary or Permanent Disability

It’s important to keep in mind that while each state is required to offer some form of workers’ compensation insurance, the laws can vary depending upon the state. When you file a workers’ compensation request with your employer, you are not moving forward with a lawsuit, but making a request to receive benefits. However, it’s important to be aware that once an employee accepts workers’ compensation, they waive their right to file a lawsuit against their employer. 

Am I required to accept workers’ compensation if it is available?

Worker’s compensation can certainly help employees to receive assistance in the wake of a work-related accident. While many people accept workers’ compensation without a second thought, it may be a good idea to carefully weigh your options first. However, it’s important to be aware that much of the time, workers’ compensation is your best option. It may be in your best interest to speak with a workers’ compensation lawyer, especially if you have been seriously injured and stand to face a seriously debilitating injury. 

Are there exceptions that may allow me to take legal action?

Much of the time, the best chance at compensation for work-related injuries is through workers’ compensation. However, it’s important to understand that there can be exceptions that include:

  • Taking legal action against a responsible third party
  • You were intentionally harmed by your employer
  • Your employer does not have workers’ compensation insurance

I am unsure of whether to accept workers’ compensation, how much time do I have before I need to make a decision?

If you have been injured and are unsure of what to do next, it will be important that you take prompt action. Start by reporting the accident to your employer. Following this, the timeframes you have to accept workers’ compensation can vary depending upon where you live. To determine how best to proceed, contact a workers’ compensation lawyer for guidance. 

In some cases, injuries on the job can leave victims to face physical pain and missed time away from work. While workers’ compensation benefits can help, many do not realize that they don’t necessarily provide you with your full pay. As a result, employees may be facing significant financial impact. For help with your case, it may be in your best interest to contact a workers’ compensation lawyer like a Work Comp Lawyer in Milwaukee, WI, for help. 

Thank you to the experts at Hickey & Turim SC for their insight into workers’ compensation.