When an employee gets injured on the job there are generally two ways for him to recover financial losses. He can claim his workers compensation from the insurance company which helps him with the general medical expenses. In some cases, an employee may also be able to file a lawsuit.
An employee injured at the workplace go through a lot of trauma, physically and mentally. Injuries can lead to missed days of work due to hospitalization, sometimes one may not be able to return to work due to a permanent disability.
Employee compensations often cover very basic expenses. Medical expenses and other types of support like in case of disability or death is also provided.
Medical expenses may get covered fully for the harmed employee but other payments like that for disability or injuries due to employer negligence may not be enough to cover the expenses incurred in addition to the emotional suffering endured. A lawsuit may be an option in such cases.
A Few Conditions That need To Be Satisfied For A Lawsuit To Be Filed:
· If An Employee’s Injury Was Caused By A Defective Product Or Equipment
If an injury is caused due to a machine or a product that was defective, there is a strong likelihood of a suit against the manufacturer. This will be a products liability action which will be filed against the product manufacturer.
The manufacturer of the product can be held liable if the product doesn’t function as expected. He can be held liable even if the product design is defective or there was a flaw in its manufacturing. In the likelihood that the product is inherently harmful the manufacturer can be held liable for the injury caused by such a product.
The employer can also be sued if he himself is the manufacturer of the defective product.
· If An Employee’s Injury Was Caused By A Harmful Toxic Substance
An employee’s injuries can be caused due to harmful toxic substances that they have to be in constant contact with at their workplace.
Every company is expected to adhere to all the necessary safety precautions in order to store and handle toxic materials. They are also expected to adequately train and educate their employees on the ways to properly handle these chemicals and enforce safety in handling the toxic substances. If a company fails to do so, they can be held liable if an injury due to such toxins occurs.
The manufacturer of the toxic substances can also be held liable. A toxic tort suit can be filed against them. If the safety equipment is proven to be ineffective then its manufacturer can also be sued.
The injuries caused by such toxic chemicals can take a long time to get detected. This often makes it difficult to get compensation in such cases.
Attorneys experienced in such cases can be extremely helpful in recovering compensation in such cases.
· If An Employee Recieves No Workers Compensation Provided By The Employer
There is often a possibility that an employer does not have workers’ compensation insurance. In the event that an employee of such a company gets injured, then this employee can sue the employer.
In these cases, there is often a possibility for an employee to recover a much larger amount of damages. This amount will often be much greater than the amount the workers’ compensation insurance usually pays. The major requirement in such cases is to be able to prove liability in the claim that has been made.
This requirement of proving liability often increases the complications in filing a claim lawsuit. A person who is experienced in handling such complexities can provide a lot of help to recover the necessary damages in these types of cases. The legal process can be mind-boggling for laymen, so these professionals can help in the entire process of work-related claims. They can prove to be very helpful in all the stages that a workers’ compensation-related lawsuit goes through.
Right from the initial stage of actually filing a claim, then collecting all the necessary evidence required to prove the correctness of the claim and then further actually representing the injured worker in civil court.
These professional lawyers are highly effective and prove to be very beneficial at helping an employee receive the largest amount of workers compensation possible.
· If An Employee Is Settling A Workers’ Compensation Case
A workers’ compensation lawsuits can take a very long time and sometimes very difficult for the injured party. They can often be very unpredictable and expensive.
Insurance companies may often offer settlement especially in case of a serious injury.
The employee has to think about the gravity of the injury and their chances of recovery. Is it possible to return to work post recovery or is the damage permanent? If there is a possibility of returning to work then there is also a chance at being covered by insurance and also a continuous paycheck is guaranteed which will help in daily expenses.
Also, one important thing to consider is if the case is proving to be difficult. All these things have to be taken into consideration when thinking of settlement.
The total amount of the settlement is important to consider. As it is a lump sum it may seem very big at the time, but one has to consider the expenses that will have to be taken care of in the absence of the paycheck.
If the employee’s injury is going to lead to permanently losing their job, then careful thought has to be put into the amount of settlement before agreeing to it.
An employee’s entire life has to be reviewed as this has an impact on it. The employee’s injury will also impacted their entire life and the awarded workers compensation amount should reflect this.
There is also a possibility of negotiation on the total workers compensation amount if it seems unfair. The cost of the lawsuit itself should also be considered when considering the settlement amount. The cost of the lawsuit should not be very far from the amount the employee is suing for.