Every hour in America, over 510 people get injured at work. That’s one every 7 seconds. Many employers take responsibility for your safety at work but there are some who don’t seem to care.
If you got injured on the job, it’s crucial that you know your rights and understand the workplace policies in place. Can you get fired before filing a claim?
Injured on the Job
The most common types of injuries at work are cuts, lacerations or puncture wounds. Also, sprains and strains, as well as soreness and pain, are very common. These injuries arise from exertion, contact with objects and slips, trips and falls.
The result of these injuries is time off work. This is bad for both workers and their employers. The top three occupations for injuries resulting in time off work are the various services, transport, and manufacturing.
Workers’ Compensation Claim
Many injuries at work that result in time off work can qualify for a workers’ compensation claim. Workers’ compensation insurance provides some support to injured workers as well as protect employers from damaging lawsuits.
Only the employees of a company are eligible to make a claim. Workers’ compensation is not available to independent contractors, for example. Also, employers need to have workers’ compensation insurance in place.
Many states, though not all, require employers to have workers’ compensation insurance. You may need legal advice to get the most from a workers compensation claim.
Termination of Employment
If you make a workers’ compensation claim and lose your job in retaliation for this, you may have a legal case against the employer. It’s illegal to fire employees in these circumstances in many states.
Employers may have the right to fire an employee if they are unable to do their job, even if this is a result of an accident at work. They should make reasonable accommodations if possible.
Reasonable accommodations might include looking at suitable equipment, a different work schedule or reasonable adjustments to the job. Failure to do this could be a breach of the Americans with Disabilities Act. An employee experiencing this kind of treatment may find that they can claim damages from the employer.
Termination Before Filing a Claim
It’s not necessary to make a claim for workers’ compensation on the day the injury happened. Some injuries emerge sometime after an event. For example, workers’ compensation can cover long-term injuries such as exposure to harmful substances at work.
If you get fired before you make a workers’ compensation claim it may not be because of the workplace injury or to a claim for workers’ compensation. In this case, it may not be a breach of the laws protecting workers who make claims for workers’ compensation. It may still not be legal and unless it is clear to you why you have been legitimately dismissed you should but taking legal advice from an attorney.
If you are fired because of an injury at work, whether or not you have submitted a claim for workers’ compensation you may have a claim for damages. Take legal advice from an attorney.
The law relating to workers’ compensation claims and being injured on the job is complex. If unscrupulous employers seek to deprive you of your rights it can be difficult to challenge them. Taking legal advice is often the best way to ensure you receive what you are entitled to.
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