When To File Personal Injury Claims For Work Related Accidents
Personal injury claims demand a qualified attorney capable of representing the client with positive results. An attorney can review relevant information provided by a client and decide whether compensation is due because of someone else’s negligence. The legal system is complicated and often treats individuals as more of a commodity than a person. Proper legal representation handles the system, while treating the client with dignity, and can help the victim put normalcy back into everyday life.
The United States Department of Labor provides alarming statistics when it comes to workplace accidents and fatalities. In 2011, nearly three million nonfatal accidents and illnesses were reported in the private sector. Of the accidents reported, 908,300 people missed at least one day of work. The median number of missed days was eight per incident. OSHA reports that workplace-related illnesses and accidents cost companies upwards of $60 billion in revenue annually. The National Safety Council states workers lost over $90 million in wages during the 2011 fiscal year due to workplace accidents and illnesses.
Workplace-related personal injury claims are different from other types of similar cases. Workers’ compensation protects negligent employers from lawsuits. Be advised, however, that does not mean legal representation is not a necessary part of the healing process. A workers’ compensation attorney specializes in obtaining compensation and restitution for people that have been hurt in the workplace due to negligence. Workers’ compensation attorneys and personal injury attorneys are the same; both obtain financial compensation for accidents and illnesses caused by another’s disregard for safety.
While personal injury claims cannot be made against an employer, a third party may still be found liable for an accident in the workplace. Faulty equipment is one example where a third party manufacturer can be held responsible for a work-related accident. A qualified attorney will work with a client to decide responsibility, and proceed accordingly by filing a lawsuit against workers’ compensation, a third party, or both.
If you have been injured in the workplace or on the job, here are a few important tips to remember:
- Report the incident immediately. Do not let anyone, including the employer, not report the accident. Not only could it hinder compensation, but it is also illegal.
- When talking to an adjuster, give short and concise answers. Understand the adjuster may record any conversation, and anything said will be carefully examined to minimize company liability.
- Do not sign any checks or releases without first speaking with an attorney.
- Medical stabilization should come before any settlement of the case.
- Do not be pressured into doing anything just because someone says, “you have to.”
- Contact an attorney as soon as possible.
- Keep a daily diary of how the incident affects day-to-day life.
Here are questions to ask an attorney before agreeing to legal representation for workplace personal injury claims.
- Is the attorney experienced in this type of litigation?
- What are the proposed fees and expenses?
- How does the attorney evaluate chance of success?
- What is the attorney’s success rate?
No one deserves to suffer because of workplace negligence. Personal injury claims cannot undo the damages caused by the lack of regard for safety, but a successful claim can get the person back to work faster and guarantee the right party suffers the financial burden for the incident.