Many workers compensation claims are handled properly by respective employers when the injury is obviously work-related and there are no disputed circumstances. This is common when employees work in a central location that is clearly company property. However, that is not always the circumstance for a worker’s compensation injury claim in some industries, such as construction, and many times a defensive employer or a bad faith worker’s compensation insurance carrier will dispute a claim based on no responsibility. Even when working in a remote location, your employer is still liable for injuries even if they may not directly be involved in the neglect that resulted in the injury. For the most part, when an employee is injured while performing job-related tasks they are more than likely covered by worker’s compensation insurance protection, but there are still combative and argumentative employers and insurance carriers in the marketplace.
Third-party negligence can easily be a factor in workplace injuries. While it is not necessary of your worker’s compensation personal injury attorney to prove negligence on the part of your actual employer, this proof is still a requirement when a third party was responsible for the injury. The potential for multiple respondents is possible in many workers comp claims, and having a solid worker’s compensation attorney can make the difference being made whole after an accident or being compensated at a minimal level. Primary employers are generally exempt from this full legal requirement, as workers compensation insurance laws only require employers to cover lost wages and medical bill payment. In addition, they cannot terminate an employee for merely getting injured at work, but can still terminate on extenuating circumstances.
Many employers attempt to structure employment relationships in a manner that eliminates all employer responsibilities for injuries incurred on the job by claiming the injured party is an independent contractor. The truth is that the workers compensation board for your state will primarily be interested in the nature of the working relationship as opposed to any employment technicalities. If the company maintains a vertical command structure, there is a good possibility that a worker’s compensation claim can be established or potentially won in a standard court of law. However, just as with standard employees, the claim must be handled via the state workers comp board first in most situations. These can be complicated issues and will always require an experienced and skillful worker’s compensation attorney.
Construction workers are a primary example of individuals who experience a higher accident rate than other industries. Filing a workers compensation claim can be complicated when your official employer is attempting to shift the burden of a reasonable duty of care to another negligent contractor or the general construction company. In addition, when multiple sub-contractors are working one job, an employee can be confused about their actual employer. The company that provides your worker’s compensation insurance coverage is your legal employer, even when they will not immediately admit the relationship. This can also document a bad faith employer or insurance carrier, which can in turn result in an additional legal claim in some instances. It is important to always know who your actual employer is, even in standard labor situations.
Getting injured on a job that is classified as a temporary position does not disqualify injured individuals from workers compensation insurance coverage. However, the actual employer is the temporary placement company. In some instances, companies that contract with temporary manpower services can also be held liable when they do not comply with Occupational Safety and Health Administration as this can also establish negligence in a standard personal injury lawsuit. Injuries involving temporary workers can become complicated quickly, especially when two potential negligent parties are involved and have multiple workers compensation insurance carriers. Defective product liability can also be a component of a worker’s compensation claim when a worker is injured by defective work or workplace equipment. Product manufacturers are held to the strict liability doctrine, meaning your worker’s comp legal representative does not need to prove negligence on the part of the manufacturer on a valid claim.
Near Miss Injuries
Anytime an accident occurs at work the company should document the accident and injury and then follow up with an accident investigation. However, this does not always happen, and when it does, the company may claim the accident as a “near miss” and no injuries occurred. While the injured party may not be allowed access to this documentation, an experienced and aggressive worker’s compensation and personal injury attorney will understand how to access the documentation and file injury claims against all negligent parties involved. Never settle for a “near miss” injury classification, even when being terminated is a possibility. Always consult with a worker’s compensation attorney about any workplace injury.
Undocumented workers can also file workers compensation claims in most states, as only two states preclude this legal right. Do not be deceived into thinking that you cannot file a worker’s compensation claim if your are an undocumented worker who has been injured on the job. The potential for a separate lawsuit also exists in egregious or bad-faith situations, and your worker’s compensation attorney will understand how to file any additional claims. Do not let an employer misinform you regarding your rights.
These are just examples of the type of cases or situations that can arise when attempting to file a claim for workers compensation or a personal injury that occurs in a work situation. Workers compensation insurance carriers are professional negotiators who deal with denying compensation claims on a daily basis. That is why it is imperative to have your own professional negotiator handling your claim for a full financial recovery for your workplace injury. Don’t accept your employer’s word for your insurance coverage. Go get a worker’s compensation personal injury attorney.