After suffering an injury, many employees are unsure whether to sue their employer or not. This is typically known as a work-related accident claim. To best understand these claims it is important to know when an employee can file these types of claims in addition to how they are processed. See below for an assessment from our Long Island Workplace Accident Lawyer.
When Can I Sue My Employer?
Laws regarding work-related accident claims vary from state to state, however all fifty states have statutes that stipulate the time limits for filing a claim. In most cases if an employee wishes to file a lawsuit against their employer they should do so within one year of the accident or when the injury is discovered. If the statute of limitations expires, the employee is no longer able to file a claim.
There are several different claims which can be filed against employers depending on the injury or type of accident. These includes claims for negligence, disability discrimination, personal injury, medical expenses, workers’ compensation benefits and wrongful termination.
Examples of Workplace Accidents Which Qualify for a Lawsuit:
Although there are no set criteria for filing a work-related accident claim, common examples of accidents include physical injuries from equipment malfunction or lack of safety procedures. In addition to physical injuries, there are also claims that can be filed based on emotional distress or mental anguish if a supervisor’s actions result in anxiety and depression. In terms of physical injuries, some examples include:
– Injuries from a defective product which were not properly inspected.
– A fall on a wet floor that was the responsibility of the employer to maintain and clean.
– Slips and falls due to poor lighting or lack of safety signs in common areas. If an injury occurred in a common area, the employer is responsible for maintaining safety.
How are Work-Related Accidents Processed?
Workplace accident claims can be processed two different ways: a claim filed with a workers’ compensation board or a lawsuit against the employer’s insurance company. In some cases, it may be possible to file a claim with both the workers’ compensation board and against the employer with the help of a Long Island workplace accident lawyer.
To file a claim with a workers’ compensation board, an injured worker must provide notice of the accident to their supervisor or human resources department within thirty days of the accident. Thereafter, if the employer disputes responsibility for causing injury they can request a hearing where all parties will be present. This is typically the quickest route for processing claims, however these claims usually do not result in large settlement amounts even if there was a serious injury.
A lawsuit is the other option for filing a workplace accident claim and as such can provide larger settlement amounts than those which are processed through workers’ compensation boards. To file a lawsuit, the injured party must file the proper paperwork with the court asking for compensation for medical expenses and pain and suffering. This process can take several months before a case is heard in front of a judge.
Additionally, it is possible to sue an employer directly if negligence or misconduct led to injury on the job. To successfully prove fault against an employer, it is important to provide evidence of their negligence.
Although claims filed against the employer’s insurance policy are possible and do occur they are not as common as those which are processed through a workers’ compensation board. A lawsuit will typically be filed if the claim is denied by the workers’ compensation board or if there was misconduct or negligence by an employer which led to injury.
Workers’ compensation board claims are the most efficient way to file a workplace accident claim and offer expedited processing, however many personal injury attorneys also accept lawsuits against employers directly.
Contact Our Long Island Workplace Accident Lawyer
If you would like more information regarding workplace accident cases in the state of NY, please schedule an appointment with Winkler Kurtz by visiting our appointments page.