Responding to Work Accidents
Some industries and workspaces are inherently more hazardous than others. Yet, many people take the idea for granted that if they don’t work in construction, trucking, commercial fishing, logging, or law enforcement that their risk of suffering a work-related accident is minimal. In reality, every single worker in the U.S. risks being hurt as a result of a workplace accident every single day. Whether you work in a hospital or at home, in an office or a factory, accidents happen. It is, therefore, critical that you understand what your legal rights and options are when they do.
If you are classified as a full-time or part-time employee, chances are very good that you’re eligible for workers’ compensation benefits in the event of an injurious work-related accident. If your employer doesn’t have very many workers on their payroll or you are a member of a specialty industry, it’s possible that your employer is exempt from providing you with this coverage. But, generally speaking, you’re probably eligible for workers’ compensation benefits unless you’re properly classified as an independent contractor.
It’s very important that you apply for workers’ compensation benefits quickly in the wake of a work-related accident. Unlike filing a personal injury lawsuit, the workers’ compensation process is so time-sensitive in most states that if you don’t take specific actions within a number of days after getting hurt, you’ll be barred from receiving the compensation that is rightfully yours.
Personal Injury Claims
Depending on the specifics of your state’s laws, you will likely have up to a year or two to file a personal injury lawsuit after sustaining injuries due to a work-related accident. But, as an experienced accident injury lawyer – including those who practice at Yearin Law Office – can confirm, it is generally a good idea to speak with an attorney about your situation as soon as possible. While you have some time before you must commit to filing a lawsuit before you bump up against the end of your state’s statute of limitations, working with an attorney immediately can help to ensure that critical evidence is preserved and that your rights are protected.
You’ll likely be in a position to file a personal injury lawsuit if your accident was caused (partially or totally) by the negligence, recklessness, or intentionally dangerous conduct of another party. You can potentially name individuals, companies, and other entities – like government agencies – as defendants in your lawsuit, as long as the particulars of your situation meet this criterion. The exception to this broad rule involves your employer, if you’re eligible for workers’ compensation. When employers pay for their employees’ workers’ compensation coverage, they receive limited liability protection in return.
Whether a defective part in an industrial machine, a client/customer/patient/coworker/etc., a motorist, or even a government agency negligently, recklessly, or intentionally contributed to the cause(s) of your harm, it’s important to explore the possibility of filing a lawsuit. You could be owed considerable compensation at this time.