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Work Accident Laws

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What are Work Accidents?

Work accidents refer to unintentional injuries that occur at the workplace or while on the job.  They generally involve injuries that occur in connection to the person’s line of work, rather than accidents that have no relation to the person’s duties.  Some work accidents are covered by company insurance policies or worker’s compensation laws.  However, sometimes they can lead to legal disputes over issues like damages or liability.

Some common work accidents may include:

  • Injuries caused by heavy lifting
  • Injuries caused by falling objects
  • Injuries from falling off ladders or stairs
  • Vehicle injuries (for example, for delivery persons)
  • Slip and fall type claims

Work accidents are sometimes classified under categories like “on the job injuries” or workplace injuries.  However, work accidents are generally characterized by a one-time occurrence resulting in an injury, rather than injuries that happen over a long period of time (such as repetitive strain injuries).

Can a Person Recover Damages for Work Accidents?

In some cases, work accidents may be covered by a person’s employment policy with their company.  There may be processes for handling accidents that involve an interaction with the company and different insurance agencies.  State worker’s compensation may also be available as an option. 

However, there may often be some legal disputes that arise in connection with a work accident.  For example, it may happen that an employer may not be willing to admit fault for an employee’s injuries.  This is often the case for particularly severe injuries that result from the employer’s negligence, and which might cost the company a lot of money in damages. 

In such cases, the worker may need to file a legal complaint against their employer, to obtain compensation in a civil court of law.

What if I Have a Legal Dispute Over a Work Accident?

Filing a claim for a work accident can involve many different documents and forms of evidence.  You may wish to take the following steps before filing a claim with the court:

  • Gather all work documents and data that is related to your injury, such as time logs and pay stubs.  Be sure to include important information like dates and locations of the incident or incidents
  • Keep documents related to your medical treatment, like hospital bills, records, and pharmacy receipts.  These may be used when calculating the damages
  • Obtain information from witnesses and co-workers if necessary

In addition, some states require that you contact a government agency before filing a private lawsuit.  This may involve an investigation from a state-appointed worker’s compensation agent.  Such processes may typically involve the assistance of a lawyer.

Do I Need a Lawyer for Help With Work Accident Laws?

Work accidents can often be somewhat tricky; some people may be afraid of losing their job or suffering setbacks for filing a complaint.  However, you have the right to obtain compensation for your injuries if you were injured due to another person’s negligence or carelessness.  You may wish to hire a personal injury lawyer if you need assistance filing a claim for a work accident.  Your attorney can represent you in court and can help you file for a damages award for your losses. 

Photo of page author Ken LaMance

, LegalMatch Law Library Managing Editor and Attorney at Law

Last Modified: 07-08-2018 06:37 PM PDT

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