While most places of businesses strive for safety to protect their employees, accidents still happen and, in some cases, are due to someone else’s negligence. When this occurs, knowing where to turn to cover your medical bills, missed wages and other costs can be confusing. While the nature of a workplace accident usually depends on a variety of circumstances, there are a few ways you can recover financially.
While you may believe that a co-worker or an unsafe practice caused your workplace accident, there are only a few circumstances that allow you to sue the company or people involved because of your right to workers’ compensation. While this type of workplace coverage can assist you with medical bills and other costs, you may want to protect yourself by taking a few actions directly after the incident, including:
- Giving the time and location of the injury
- Describing how the injury occurred
- Naming those who witnessed the accident
It is wise to report the injury right away, as if you leave the job site and then report the accident later, your employer may try to deny you coverage.
Workers’ compensation usually covers the actions of negligent or inattentive co-workers who may have played a part in causing your injury. For example, if you were operating a forklift under your co-worker’s direction and he or she did not warn you about an object blocking your way and you were injured when the forklift tipped over, this would still likely be covered under workers’ compensation.
While you may believe that suing your co-worker may help you recover financially, this is usually not possible unless you can prove without a doubt that he or she acted maliciously and intended to harm you. Because most workplace accidents are unexpected, an intentional act of harm is usually rare.
Part-Time and Seasonal Employers
While medical insurance is usually offered only to full-time or salaried workers, workers’ compensation covers all employees, regardless of how many hours they work. This covers any injury you receive while on the job, even if you work at that location as a temporary employee. You may be responsible for your own medical costs and lost wages if you are an independent contractor, as the nature of your relationship with a company differs from one that employs you directly.
Being injured on the job can be a frightening and unexpected incident, but if you feel you deserve more than what is offered under workers’ compensation, help is available. Consider contacting a workers compensation lawyer, like one from Cohen & Cohen, P.C., today for more information.