When you get injured at work, workers' compensation is typically designed to help pay for your medical bills and lost wages while you recover. Usually, employers have workers' compensation to protect employees and themselves because workers' compensation insurance usually prevents employees from suing. However, there are times when you may actually be able to sue even if you were injured while working. Check out these three reasons you may need a personal injury attorney after a work-related injury.
There Is no Workers' Compensation Insurance
By law, most employers are required to have workers' compensation insurance. Therefore, if your employer was legally required but failed to provide workers' compensation insurance, you can likely sue your employer. If your employer is not legally required to have workers' compensation, you can typically sue. In some cases, the workers' compensation may have expired without the employer realizing. In this instance, you can usually sue your employer to get the money you are owed. Last, if your employer has workers' compensation, but it's not enough to cover your medical bills and lost wages, you may be allowed to sue.
Your Employer Argues You Weren't Working
One of the best benefits of workers' compensation is that you don't have to prove fault. Even if you caused your own accident, you usually qualify for a workers' compensation settlement. However, if your employer argues you weren't working because you were goofing off, you may need an attorney to argue your defense. If you were roughhousing, drinking on the job, and so on, your employer will say you were not working and are therefore not qualified to receive workers' compensation. Your employer may also say you weren't working if the accident happened while you were driving for work. If you were heading to a meeting but included a personal errand, such as getting coffee, your employer may argue you were running a personal errand at the time of the accident.
Someone Else Is to Blame for Your Injury
In some cases, you may be able to sue if someone else is to blame for your injury. This doesn't mean you can sue the janitor who forgot to tell you the floor was wet. Typically, you can only sue someone else if they purposely caused the injury, or it was a defective third-party product. For example, if your boss suddenly decided to hit you because you got into an argument, you can probably sue. Similarly, if your desk was defective, causing it to collapse onto your legs, you may be able to sue the desk manufacturer. If you do sue someone else, you can still qualify for workers' compensation, but you can't double dip. And because lawsuits can include all types of monies, including pain and suffering, you may need to repay some workers' compensation benefits after you win your separate lawsuit.
Workers' compensation is fast, but it only reimburses you for medical bills and some lost income. But by suing a third party, you may be able to get all the money you are owed to make you whole again. If you would like more information regarding personal injuries and workers' compensation, contact personal injury lawyers in your area today.