What Legal Rights Do You Have When Injured on the Job?
In every state, employers are required to provide their employees with a reasonably safe and healthy working environment. However, in some cases, an employer may fail to provide this and, as a result, an employee may be injured. Occasionally, an employee might sustain an injury on the job even when all efforts have been made by the employer to make their workplace safe. This could include injuries such as broken bones, occupational illnesses, and aggravations of pre-existing conditions. Read on to find out more about your rights as an employee if you are injured on the job.
What Rights Do Employees Have?
Workers’ compensation laws can vary between states, and the rights and legal procedures can also vary between companies and employees. Generally speaking, in most states, employees will have the right to get medical treatment, the right to go back to their job when signed off as safe to do so by their doctor, and the right to bring a in workers’ compensation claim for the injury. If you are unable to work due to the injury, you have the right to disability compensation, and you will generally have the right to appeal any decision made by your employer that you disagree with. You also have the right to be represented by a Work Injury Lawyer.
How to Protect Your Rights
Reporting a work-related injury to your employer is the easiest and most important way to protect your rights if you are injured on the job. Most states will require that you make a report of your injury within a certain time period, up to a few days after the incident. While this might not always be possible depending on the exact circumstances, it’s important to make sure that the injury is reported as soon as practically possible. The next step to protect your rights involves filing a claim with the worker’s compensation court in your state, giving formal notice of the injury.
Your Rights Against Third Parties
In some cases, a work-related injury may not be the responsibility of your employer, but rather a third party. If your injury was caused by the negligence or carelessness of a third party such as a manufacturer of a defective piece of equipment used in your workplace, you may have the right to bring a claim against that party, known as a third-party claim. These are not usually dealt with by workers’ compensation and should be filed in state or federal courts in the form of a civil lawsuit. A civil lawsuit for any work-related injuries will typically be able to seek additional personal injury damages that cannot be recovered in a workers’ compensation claim. For example, you may bring a civil claim to seek compensation for pain and suffering, since workers’ compensation claim benefits are generally designed to only cover lost wages and medical expenses.
Understanding your rights and how to protect them if you are injured at work can help you navigate what can often be a tricky situation.