No-one turns up at work expecting to get injured. Years of regulation and advances in health and safety mean that modern workplaces are safer than they have ever been. The death-trap factories and hazardous conditions of the last century are, thankfully, behind us.
The bad news is that employees still get injured at work and, sometimes, it is the employer’s fault. If you have been injured whilst at work in an accident that was not your fault, this can bring your flourishing career to a sudden end. So what can you do to get it back on track.
Can you make a workplace injury claim?
It is a common misconception that only full-time workers can make a workplace injury claim. This is not true. It is perfectly possible for part-time, temporary and casual staff to claim as well. The basis of the legal system is that the employer has a duty of care and that duty extends to all employees.
However, there is a time limit within which you have to make the claim. Each State in the U.S. has a different time limit. It is therefore vital that you contact a work injury lawyer as soon as possible after your accident to get the correct advice on what to do next.
Has a workplace injury halted your career?
Workplace injuries fall into two categories. The first is the sudden traumatic event that we all associate with the term ‘accident’. This could be:
- An employee falling down a stairwell because the handrail was loose
- An employee getting injured in an explosion because dangerous substances were incorrectly stored
- An employee suffering a severed finger because the guard on a circular saw was removed by the employer
- An employee falling down a lift shaft because it was not cordoned off
Injuries from this type of accident tend to be severe and, sadly, some are even fatal.
The second type of injury is more insidious and often develops slowly. This sort of injury is often musculoskeletal in nature and the symptoms develop over time. This could be:
- An employee developing ‘vibration white finger’ after using vibrating power tools such as a power hammer
- An employee developing chronic back pain after sitting in a desk and chair with a poor ergonomic design
- An employee developing repetitive strain injury after working on an assembly line with inadequate breaks
The resulting chronic injury is not usually life-threatening but causes a great deal of pain and discomfort and can take a long time to treat.
How can an injury claim re-start your career?
You, as the claimant, will present evidence to try to prove three things:
- That you are injured
- That the injury was not your fault and was caused by your employer
- That the injury occurred during the specified time period.
If you are successful in your claim you will be offered a sum of money as ‘compensation’ for your injuries. You can use this to make up for any financial losses that you have incurred, for example, through lost wages and to get your career re-established.
This post has been contributed by Ryan Gatt, it may contain affiliate links.