businessman in neck brace sitting at table and pointing at form for workers' compensation
08 Feb

What Are My Legal Options After Personal Injury?

When companies put the safety of their employees at risk, the consequences can be severe for the company and dangerous for the employees. According to a report by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, employers reported around 2.7 million cases of injury and illness in 2020. In the same year, workplace illness cases more than quadrupled to reach 544,600 cases.

From medical bills to lost wages, a personal injury in the workplace can take a toll on your finances. Luckily, employees are eligible to take legal action against their employer or a third party if they suffer from any personal injury or illness while on the job. 

Filing a Claim for Workers’ Compensation

If your employer has workers’ comp insurance, it is likely the only legal way for you to get compensation. If you have been injured on the job, be it a big or minor injury, you need to file a claim for workers’ compensation as soon as possible. 

Here are a few pointers to remember before filing a claim:

  • If your employer does not carry workers’ compensation, you can file a personal injury lawsuit in court. Here, you must prove your employer’s fault, and you’ll want a lawyer.
  • When a workplace injury happens due to ill-functioning equipment, you have the right to sue your employer for using defective machinery/equipment. 
  • If you are often exposed to toxic substances in the workplace, you may suffer from specific long-term health issues, including cancer, lung disease, and nerve damage. Here again, you can file a toxic tort claim against the manufacturer.
  • If any injury is caused to you by a third party, you can file a lawsuit against that party. 

Filing a Personal Injury Lawsuit

Some work injuries may fall into the category of a personal injury lawsuit, and if you filed for workers’ compensation, you may not be able to file a personal injury lawsuit. However, some circumstances mean you may be eligible to file a lawsuit against your employer:

  • If your employer tries to cause any harm intentionally. 
  • Some employers do not provide workers’ compensation. If you work under an employer who falls in this category, it is perfectly legal for you to sue them. For example, in Texas, only government contract construction companies must have workers’ compensation insurance legally.

It is essential that you carefully assess your current situation and then move ahead with filing a claim. Work with a lawyer who will help you throughout the journey. 

Be Aware of the Statute of Limitations

Personal injury claims are subject to the statute of limitations, which places a specific deadline on when you can no longer file a claim. Note that, in most cases, you may lose your right to gain compensation if you do not take any legal action within this deadline. 

Typically, the deadline to file a claim for personal injuries in most states is three years. In Florida, employees have four years to file a personal injury lawsuit claim. To improve your chances within court, you’ll want to work with an experienced attorney. 

Swift investigation is crucial for determining your legal rights after a workplace accident. If you suffer an injury due to negligence from your employer’s end, contact today to get started on next steps.