After an accident at work, you may have many different expenses. You might have medical bills, lost wages, and other serious problems. If you were injured at work, you might wonder what your options are for compensation. There are many different things to consider. In some cases, you may even be able to sue your employer in a personal injury case. One example would be gross negligence. However, these cases aren’t as simple as they may seem. In this article, we’ll discuss what to do after a workplace injury and when you might be able to sue your employer for gross negligence after an accident at work.
What to Do After an Accident at Work?
After an injury at work, there are several important steps you need to take. This helps you establish your case and also determine how to move forward.
Getting medical attention is critical. It helps determine what kinds of injuries you have and can also help you learn the best road to recovery. Going to the doctor after an accident at work can also identify potential hidden injuries that may not cause immediate symptoms, like internal bleeding or soft tissue injuries.
It’s also essential to inform your employer of the accident. This allows them to create an incident report as well as allow you time off, if necessary, to heal. It’s also important for documentation of your injury and case. If your employer is a subscriber to workers’ compensation insurance, then they will likely give you information on how to file a claim as well.
Additionally, you should talk to an experienced injury attorney about your case. Your attorney can help you determine a course of action and can also assist you throughout the process of seeking compensation from your employer, whether you go through a workers’ comp claim or decide to sue your employer for your workplace accident.
How Does a Lawyer Help After an Accident at Work?
There are many ways your lawyer can help you after you’re injured in an accident at work. As legal professionals, they can offer guidance and legal services to help you get the compensation you need after an accident.
For instance, they can help you file the paperwork necessary for a worker’s comp claim if that is the route you choose to take. This includes negotiating with the adjuster to help you get the maximum payout for your workplace injury.
In addition, your attorney can help you determine if you may be able to pursue other legal action against your employer. There are some circumstances where it may be better to sue your employer instead of going through a worker’s comp claim. Your attorney can help you determine if you might have a personal injury case or if you should go through your employer’s worker’s comp.
What is the Difference Between a Workers’ Comp and a Personal Injury Case?
While personal injury and workers’ comp cases are similar in that there are injuries and expenses associated with those injuries, there are several key differences. It’s important to know these differences so you can apply them to your case.
In a worker’s comp case, fault doesn’t matter. It doesn’t matter if you were at fault for your injury, your employer was, or someone else. You don’t need to prove negligence to get benefits. All you need to do is prove that you have an injury. As such, workers’ compensation insurance typically pays out compensation limited to certain damages, including:
- Medical bills
- Lost wages
- Permanent disability benefits
By contrast, personal injury cases require you to prove that someone else’s negligence caused your injuries. In these cases, you can often collect other types of damages as well, including non-economic damages like pain and suffering and loss of consortium.
Companies May Have Employer Immunity after an Accident at Work
Current laws provide employers with a certain amount of immunity from personal injury cases if they are a subscriber of workers’ compensation. While companies have the option to opt out (called non-subscribers), many employers carry this insurance because of the liability immunity. In most cases, if your employer has workers’ compensation, then you won’t be able to sue them in a personal injury case.
Of course, there are several exceptions to this rule, including:
- Employees of marine vessels
- Employees of interstate rail lines
- Intentional acts
- Gross negligence
It May Be Possible to Seek Compensation from Your Employer After an Accident at Work
After an accident at work, you may be able to sue your employer for personal injury compensation if any of the exceptions apply. Gross negligence is one of the more common exceptions people use to sue their employers for workplace injuries. Talk to your personal injury lawyer to see if you have a case and see what your options are.
What is Gross Negligence?
So, what is gross negligence? This is a legal term for a certain kind of negligence that can cause people harm. Negligence is essentially failing in your duty of care to another person. Duty of care is basically your responsibility to keep people and property safe. For instance, your employer typically has a duty of care to maintain a safe, healthy environment for their employees.
Gross negligence has a few elements to it. First, that the party had a duty of care to you. Second, that you were injured by their negligence. Third, that they knowingly or intentionally were negligent and also knew that their actions were likely to lead to your injuries.
How Your Personal Injury Lawyer Helps You Prove Employer Gross Negligence
If you think you have a gross negligence case against your employer after an accident at work, get in touch with your personal injury lawyer for help. They can help in several ways with your case, including calculating the value of your case, sending and filing legal documents, and negotiating with your employer for a settlement out of court. Your lawyer also helps you build a case by investigating and finding evidence of their gross negligence.
Potential Evidence of Gross Negligence After an Accident at Work
There may be many different sources of evidence of your employer’s gross negligence for a workplace injury case. Your lawyer can help find this evidence to create a strong case against your employer.
Some potential sources of evidence include:
- Incident reports
- Security footage
- Internal communication records
- Coworker testimony
- Training logs
- OSHA violation records
Working with an injury attorney for your case can help you get the evidence you need to seek maximum compensation from a grossly negligent employer after an accident at work.
The Law Office of Daniel D. Horowitz, III PC – Your Injury Attorney
When you need an attorney after an accident, choose The Law Office of Daniel D. Horowitz, III PC. Mr. Horowitz offers experienced legal services to personal injury victims, whether you had an accident at work or were in a car accident. We offer board-certified personal injury legal services to victims throughout the Greater Houston area. Contact us now for a free consultation for your case.