Workplace Injury Lawyers
What Is a Workplace Injury Lawyer?
Workplace injury lawyers are also commonly known as employment lawyers or personal injury lawyers, depending on the facts of the injury. Workplace injury lawyers represent anyone who is dealing with legal disputes, violations, or claims that are related to employment laws.
Specializing in workplace laws, workplace injury lawyers help shape the treatment of workers, as well as fairness in employment policy. Additionally, workplace injury lawyers help resolve disputes between employees and the employer, or disputes between co-workers.
A workplace injury lawyer assists workers who have been injured on the job in recovering compensation for those injuries. They represent the claimant. Some common examples of what workplace injury lawyers do include, but may not be limited to:
- Obtaining medical records in order to substantiate a damages claim;
- Gathering evidence to support the injured employee’s claim;
- Taking depositions from relevant parties, such as the claimant, physicians, witnesses of the workplace injury, and other medical experts;
- Conducting discovery and performing legal research;
- Drafting various legal documents, such as pleadings, motions, and opinions; and
- Litigating cases in a court of law.
What Are Common Workplace Injuries?
A workplace injury occurs during the course of a person’s employment, and is caused by the type of task that the person is required to do at their job. This term can also apply to injuries that occur during work hours, or while on the employment premises.
Some employers may compensate for injuries that are not related to the job description. However, most claims focus on injuries that are directly associated with the job description. Some examples of these include, but are not limited to:
- Repetitive stress injuries, such as carpal tunnel syndrome or tennis elbow;
- Respiratory illnesses, such as those incurred from inhaling toxic substances;
- Various industrial diseases, such as popcorn lung or other respiratory illnesses;
- Injuries resulting from being in a confined space; and/or
- Slip and fall injuries
In some specific cases, worker’s compensation may also cover off-site injuries that are sustained outside the workplace. An example of this would be injuries resulting from a car accident during the course of a work day. This will depend on the nature of the employment contract between the worker and employer, as well as individual state laws. Generally speaking, if the injury occurs while the worker is on the clock or under the direction of their employer, it could be possible to hold the employer liable.
It is important to note that if your employer is not a subscriber to workers compensation, they will be personally liable to legal claims filed against them on behalf of injured employees. Therefore, it is important to note whether or not your employer is a subscriber to workers compensation, as that will determine how you will proceed in recovering from your workplace injuries.
Why Is it Important to Hire a Workplace Injury Lawyer?
Most legal remedies for workplace injuries include some sort of damage award. Damage awards are paid by the employer to the plaintiff, and are intended to help compensate the worker for medical bills and other related costs. Additionally, insurance may cover some of the damages awarded. However, in many cases, the employer may have to pay out of pocket for other costs.
Workplace injury attorneys will work towards obtaining a suitable damages award for their injured client. There are some specific instances in which hiring a workplace injury lawyer would be especially important:
- The employer has denied the claim, or will not promptly pay out benefits owed;
- The employer’s settlement does not cover all of the lost wages and/or medical bills;
- The medical issues resulting from the injury prevent the employee from returning to their prior job;
- The employee cannot perform any work at all because of the injury;
- The employee is considerably limited in their working abilities because of the injury;
- The employee receives, or plans to receive Social Security disability benefits;
- The employer is not a subscriber to workers compensation;
- The employer retaliates against the employee a worker’s compensation claim; and/or,
- The employee was injured due to a third party’s actions, or the employer’s serious misconduct.
Should You Hire a Lawyer for Your Workplace Injury Issue?
Workplace injury attorneys can help you gain a better understanding of what your case involves. Some claims involving employment must behandled by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) prior to filing a lawsuit. A lawyer will be aware of which claims must first go through the EEOC, and how to expedite the investigation process. Should the EEOC not be able to resolve the injured parties claims, an experienced attorney will be able to obtain permission to file a private lawsuit against the employer.
Once again, workplace injury issues often result in a lawsuit. Lawsuits can involve some very technical legal concepts, and as such, you should obtain the services of a skilled and knowledgeableemployment lawyer. Additionally, you may wish to hire a local employment attorney if you need help filing a work injury lawsuit.
An experienced and local employment attorney can inform you of how the process works, as well as advise you on how to best proceed in your legal claim. Finally, an attorney can also represent you in a court of law, as necessary.