At the end of the day, remember that workplace safety laws were put into place to keep employees safe from their employers.
Have you been injured at work and then let go? Even if you didn’t cause the accident, the bad blood with managers or coworkers can often make you a target in the workplace. Some workplaces even discourage employees to use the worker’s compensation system so they can save money and time. No matter what exactly happened to you, being fired over one incident is rough. You might have more options available to you than to just give up and find a new job.
An improper termination or improper handling of your worker’s compensation claim or payment is a reason to approach a law firm that regularly handles this type of case. Many law firms specialize in worker’s compensation law and can help you navigate this difficult situation. Let’s look at some basics now, to see if speaking with a lawyer is right for you.
The exact definition and system for worker’s compensation are usually unexplained or glazed over in many employee onboarding and training programs. Understanding your rights under worker’s compensation is an important step to protecting yourself from lost wages and backlash from the company.
Worker’s compensation is the system that protects employees and employers from expenses related to a workplace injury. It should pay the involved employees’ medical bills and part of missed wages resulting from an injury. In some cases, worker’s compensation will cover employee death at work as well.
It’s No-Fault, Even If It’s Your Fault
Something that is important to note is that worker’s compensation is a “no-fault.” This means that you can submit a claim for worker’s compensation no matter who’s fault the incident was. If a supervisor or company tries to discourage you from submitting a claim due to a workplace accident being your fault, they may not have your best interests at heart.
Filing a claim for worker’s compensation will likely increase the amount the company pays for worker’s compensation insurance. Reporting workplace accidents may also produce negative press or attention from your industry’s regulatory bodies. But if you are unable to work because of an accident, you deserve your claim.
There are very few situations where worker’s compensation would be denied. A full explanation can be found in a free worker’s compensation guide for your state’s workplace safety laws. But in short, if you were acting intentionally to cause harm or under the influence of drugs or alcohol, the claim may be denied.
Speak to a Lawyer
If you’ve been fired after a workplace accident, you might have been the victim of improper termination. This opens up employers to the opportunity of a civil suit that could result in them paying you punitive damages. It is in your best interest to speak to a lawyer before too much time passes. The quicker you act, the easier your case should go.
Find a Specialist
Everyone probably knows at least one lawyer, but for something as important as this you should locate a specialist. Plenty of lawyers have experience with worker’s compensation cases and can help with a decision that could be life-altering, between your career’s future and financial situation.
The first piece of advice a lawyer will probably give you is to gather evidence that shows your termination may have been improper. Start with a copy of your employment contract and any documents or communications relating to your termination. If you can find a copy of your worker’s compensation claim or medical records, that may help as well. If your situation does warrant opening a legal case, being prepared will give you the best odds of a favorable outcome.
You Are Protected
At the end of the day, remember that workplace safety laws were put into place to keep employees safe from their employers. The laws also protect employees that are using the system the way it is meant to be used. Explore your rights and find the right team to assist you, and you can regain your peace of mind.