Workplace injuries inevitably raise questions of liability. Was the accident (and your injury) your fault, or was it your employer’s fault? Even before you hire an attorney to represent your interests, you should be attentive to the top 4 indicators your employer is liable for your workplace injury.
You might know the accident was not your fault. Getting your employer to admit that fact might not be easy. If your employer is liable, you can hire an experienced personal injury attorney and bring suit against your employer for just compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, and other costs and losses related to your injury. In addition to compensation for your injuries, your employer might be subject to punitive damages (punishment for creating or permitting conditions that caused your accident).Depending upon the reason for your injury and the extent of harm done to you by a workplace injury, a financial settlement could be significant.
Here are the top 4 indicators your employer is liable for your workplace injury:
- Dangerous areas were not identified for the safety of employees. A few examples are:
- No yellow caution signs around wet floors or wet floor areas.
- No yellow fences or tape around a construction area.
- No warning sign on areas that are blocked or sealed off advising of danger.
- You were not adequately trained to use dangerous equipment. If your job requires you to use dangerous or heavy equipment, your employer must provide adequate training for you in the use of the equipment and on safety standards for use of the equipment. Handing you a user manual does not meet that requirement. Failure to provide adequate training is negligence on the employer’s part.
- Your boss downplays the incident or tells you and others the accident was your fault. These are the actions of people who know they did something wrong and do not want to be held accountable for their mistakes or negligence. The response of someone with nothing to hide will be to show concern for your injury, to insist upon immediate and thorough medical attention, take pictures of the area, ask witnesses to write down what they saw and heard, call the company’s insurance company, and take any other actions necessary to ensure the incident is handled and documented carefully and completely.
- Someone in a leadership position with the company that employs you tells you that you should not call or hire an attorney. No one should ever tell you that. It is a clear indication that the company wants to silence you and control what people think about how the accident occurred, how it will be remembered, and who will be considered liable. In many cases, this will be an attempt to sweep the incident under the carpet so that the company will not be held responsible for financial compensation.
Most employers will act responsibly when an accident occurs, whether you are injured or not. Unfortunately, some people will not admit a mistake or will not want to be held responsible by their bosses.
In the face of the top 4 indicators your employer is liable for your workplace injury, or a responsible approach, here is what you should do:
- Have someone bring your boss to the accident site.
- If you are able to do so, take pictures of the entire area. If you are not able to do so, ask a co-worker you trust to take pictures and immediately send them to you and to the company’s human resources office.
- Insist upon being checked out either at a hospital emergency room or by your physician.
- Call a personal injury attorney (like Altizer Law, P.C.) to protect your rights and to represent you, if necessary, to obtain the just compensation you are due from your employer or your employer’s insurance company.
- Ask anyone who saw your accident to write down everything they saw or heard. Ask them to send a copy to you and to your employer’s human resources office.
- As soon as you are able, write down everything you can remember about the incident.
If you are injured at work and you believe the accident was not your fault, you may be entitled to financial compensation. Call a personal injury attorney to assess the accident and to represent you in dealing with the insurance company and your employer.
Altizer Law, P.C. has vast experience helping people who were injured on the job due to the wrongdoing or negligence of the employer. If you are hurt at work and you believe it was not your fault, get medical attention and call us. We will be there for you.