If you have a major accident at work, there are some tough choices ahead of you about how you want to proceed. Here are some questions you might ask yourself about how you want to use your legal rights in the situation.
What Will Worker's Compensation Provide?
The first thing that may come up is the possibility of getting worker's compensation for your accident. The insurance benefits are fairly standardized. Once you have a medical prognosis, the insurance will pay you a portion of your salary for the allotted time off that you are supposed to take. They also cover medical bills.
How Serious Is Your Injury?
Also evaluate how serious your injury is. Is it a broken bone that will heal in a matter of weeks or a more serious injury that could cause long term impairment? That will certainly affect what other options you can pursue in terms of compensation for the injury.
Was the Company Negligent?
Also ask yourself whether the company you work for was negligent in this experience. Each company is responsible for providing a safe workplace, and if they knowingly neglected that duty, they can be on the hook for much more compensation. Expert eye witnesses are great for pointing out how a company mishandled safety within the office.
Do You Need to Preserve These Work Relationships?
Whether or not your injury was severe and the company was responsible, you should also consider the legal implications if you were to file a lawsuit against the company. They may understand your course of action if your company's worker's compensation insurance isn't covering your bills, but it is a tricky social situation to handle.
Would a Personal Injury Case Be Fruitful?
Finally, this leads us to whether you should pursue a personal injury case or not. On the one hand, you could potentially get a much higher settlement if you reject the worker's compensation amounts and hire a personal injury attorney instead. But you also risk damaging your relationship to the company and taking some steps back in your career, only to find that your case isn't viable. The best thing to do is to get an opinion from an experienced lawyer, such as Donald R. Capper, Attorney at Law, on what kind of settlement you can expect, based on the severity of your injury and the amount of negligence that the company showed for your accident.