If you have obtained a work-related injury, you’re probably feeling angry and may be wondering how you are going to make everything work financially. You may wonder if you are entitled to compensation for your damages. Exploring your options after you get hurt is essential. Here are some answers to common work-related injury questions.
Medical Bills After an On-the-Job Injury
Workers’ compensation insurance policies are set up so that, no matter who is at fault, the workers’ compensation insurance policy covers the medical expenses of the injured party. If you sustained an injury on the job and you are not sure who will pay your medical bills, rest assured that workers’ compensation pays everything.
If you go to a doctor, you will be asked for your Workmen’s Compensation Board number, or WCB number. Once your medical provider verifies this information, you will not be responsible for co-pays, and you proceed until someone challenges it. You get all your medical treatment covered, even surgeries, even second surgeries on some occasions.
Suing Your Employer for Negligence
The overwhelming majority of the time, you may not sue your employer on the grounds of negligence. You are restricted to filing a workers’ compensation claim. Sometimes this inability to sue can prove to be a major hindrance; in one of our current cases, a client has been forced to replace one of his eyes due to a workplace injury, and he is unable to sue his employer for a situation that is truly the employer’s responsibility. Unfortunately, he will only be able to file a workers’ compensation claim.
If a third party is at fault for your injury, however, you do have the ability to make a claim against the third party. Workers’ compensation exists to protect employees, allowing them to forego the burdensome responsibility of proving negligence in order to gain some recovery for their injuries.
Being Fired for Filing an Injury Claim
Section 120 of the Workers’ Compensation Law makes it illegal for an employer to terminate an employee because the employee has filed a claim. When claims are brought against employers for wrongful termination, though, they are not easy claims to prosecute. It must be definitively determined that the reason for the firing was the filing of a claim, and intent can be challenging to demonstrate. Employers will try to dodge responsibility and assert that the reason behind the firing was the need to replace the employee. The conversations that you have with your employer at the time that you are injured or fired are critical and must be recorded by you on paperwork as soon as you can. This way, it can be verified that the employer is terminating you because you filed a workers’ compensation claim.
Blamed for My Injury
You are always eligible to file a workers’ compensation claim, whether you were responsible for your accident or not. Even if, for example, you fall off a ladder, there are certain provisions within the construction codes in New York State that you may use in your defense. When using a ladder, employers have to make sure that there are certain safeguards in place. If someone is on a ladder, the worker is required to use tie-offs, have someone else holding the ladder, make sure that the ladder is positioned properly, and ensure that the ladder is in working condition. Do not automatically assume that you do not have a claim because you think you may have done something wrong. Many times, there are certain safety standards that the employer, the general contractor, or the owner of the construction site was not following, and this lack of compliance with regulations could lead to a third-party claim, granting you compensation for your injuries in addition to workers’ compensation.
If you have questions about work-related injury cases and what damages you may be entitled to, contact our Hamburg Personal Injury Lawyers for representation.
At Chiacchia & Fleming, LLP, we will fight to protect your rights and make sure you are compensated fully.