Depending on a person’s employment classification, they can sue their employer or receive worker’s compensation for an injury incurred while on the job. In a personal injury lawsuit, the foundation of the case is usually negligence. A lawsuit based on negligence involves determining how the defendant was at fault and possible compensation for the defendant’s fault. If an employee does not pursue a personal injury lawsuit, they may be able to receive payments under worker’s compensation.
What Is Worker’s Compensation?
Worker’s compensation is a state-mandated insurance program providing compensation to employees who sustain on-the-job injuries. The monthly payments are sent regardless of fault. However, employees receiving the compensation cannot sue their employers for additional financial damages.
How Are Employees Compensated?
Employees are given benefits to:
- Replace income
- Pay medical expenses
- Cover physical rehabilitation
Employees are typically given compensation either over long-term installments or in one lump sum payment.
What Are the Requirements of Receiving Worker’s Compensation?
In order to qualify for worker’s compensation, an employee must have:
- An employee-employer relationship
- Work-related injuries
How Do I File for Worker’s Compensation?
The first step of receiving compensation involves quickly reporting the injury to the employer. The employer always provide the compensation forms. Then, an employee must:
- Seek medical attention for the injury and follow any doctor’s instructions
- File the worker’s compensation claim with the employer’s insurance company
Can I Be Fired for Filing a Worker’s Compensation Claim?
The majority of states follow an at-will employment relationship. This means that an employer can terminate an employee at any time without or with cause. An exception to this rule is that an employer cannot terminate an employee for simply filing for worker’s compensation. If an employer does do this, an employee can sue for retaliatory discharge.
How Can I Prove Retaliatory Discharge by My Former Employer?
If an employer terminates an employee after a worker’s compensation claim is filed, the employee must show:
- They were eligible for worker’s compensation
- They filed or started filing a compensation claim
- Their employer threatened to terminate, actually terminated, or acted against them
- The termination was initiated because the employee started to or actually filed a compensation claim
Do I Need a Lawyer for My Worker’s Compensation?
If you are seeking worker's compensation, it is in your best interest to consult an employment lawyer. A lawyer will instruct you on how to proceed with your claim or case.