Work related injuries are probably the most difficult to deal with, either as an injured party or as an employer. An accidents attorney will always be a handy ally in your efforts to win a workers’ compensation trial. Below are a few things you need to keep in mind before going to trial:
Accidents that occur on the job will generally fall into two different categories:
a) Injury as a result of defective equipment.
This will imply a product liability claim against the manufacturer of the respective piece of equipment or industrial machine. If the accident has involved an auto collision, you may be in the right to sue the other traffic participants who have made themselves guilty of the respective collision.
b) Injury as a result of employee or employer negligence
If a worker has been injured as a result of negligence, the circumstances may be different. You should know that the law generally limits legal claims against the employer or another employee of the organization. The worker is limited to remedies that are available under the workers compensation rule. Certain professional categories however are subject to an exception to the rule: for instance firefighter or police officers can sue their employer for negligence, if that negligence has caused them important injury during the job.
Most common accident injuries occur on construction sites and a majority of the US states have already imposed a duty on general contractors to ensure that safety measures have been taken up on the jobsite. This is a non-delegable duty to comply with WISHA safety rules, to the general benefit of every employee, included independent contractors.
An accidents attorney will also tell you that in general, contractors can also have legal duties to ensure that safety practices are enforced on the job, even if a worker is employed by a subcontractor. So, if you have been injured on the job, while working for one of your employer’s subcontractors, and if you can prove that safety rules were violated, you are entitled to legal claims against your employer or the business that carries ultimate responsibility for the jobsite.
There are similar rules applying to injuries occurring on non-construction sites, but generally these will vary depending on the nature of the business.
In any case, your employer is under legal obligation to protect you and your working environment.
Here are a few steps to take, in case you have been injured at work:
1) Record the incident within your employer’s accident ledger. If there were witnesses on site, you may also want to get a few pictures of the site.
2) Get a medical certification of injury from a GP or visit a hospital. Workplace injuries have to be proven by a medical team, so you will need to act on it and provide the doctor with a full history of how you got your injuries
3) Ask your employer for recovery support
4) Inform the Health and Safety person in your organization of the accident, as most employees are generally asked to comply with strict rules relating to safety in the workplace
5) Contact a local accidents attorney with a proven track record in winning such cases and obtaining workers compensation.