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What are my rights for workers’ compensation?

September 14, 2016

A workplace injury can literally change your life overnight. You likely won’t be able to work for the immediate future, or possibly ever again. Your financial and health situations change instantly, and you might be feeling lost and confused as you figure out how to get back on your feet again.

If you were injured on the job, you probably have a lot of questions about how you should proceed from this point. We’ve compiled a list of questions and answers that might help you plan your next move.

Can I sue my employer?

If you are injured at work or on a job site, you usually can’t sue the employer. This is because of workers’ compensation, which is intended to reduce disputes between employers and employees. Even if your injury was a result of your employer’s negligence, you cannot sue them. This goes for your coworkers as well; they are also protected under workers’ compensation laws.

The exception to this rule is if your employer was deliberately setting out to harm you. That goes beyond negligence and would therefore be grounds for a lawsuit.

Who is liable for worksite injuries?

Defendants and their insurance companies will always look at whoever was injured when they look to find fault. However, depending on the job site and the work being done, there may be other people with liability involved in your potential case.

  • If there are other contractors working on the job site, you might have a claim against them
  • Depending on the language of the job contract, a general contractor or construction manager could oversee and therefore be responsible for all job safety precautions
  • Most larger construction sites will have a safety manager or safety-competent person who works closely with the general contractor or construction manager. Their job is to make sure everything on the job site is as safe as possible, but they also arrange safety meetings and coordinate activities to make sure that everyone on the site is safe as well

What damages can I get through worker’s compensation?

When you are hurt on the job, the worker’s compensation insurance company will pay for medical bills and loss of income during the time you were unable to work. If the injury you sustained is permanent, there will be some payment made to compensate for the permanence of the injury.

Worker’s compensation is automatically paid to you regardless of who is at fault for the accident. However, it doesn’t take damages such as pain and suffering into account.

Is worker’s compensation my only recourse if I’m injured on the job?

It depends. If your employer has worker’s compensation insurance coverage, then worker’s compensation is always an option for you. Depending on how you became injured, though, more avenues of compensation can open up.

If you were injured by faulty equipment, then the manufacturer, designer, or even someone who heat-treated a particular part on the machine can be liable for your injuries. The same is true if the equipment works fine but has insufficient guarding, warnings, or instructions regarding its use.

Can I get fired for taking worker’s compensation?

You cannot be fired for taking a worker’s compensation claim. If you believe that you were wrongfully terminated, talk to an attorney as soon as you can.

How much time do I have to file a worker’s compensation claim?

The statute of limitations for filing a worker’s compensation claim in Indiana is two years from the date of your injury.

Contact our Indiana workplace injury lawyers

It can be tough to know where to start rebuilding your life after you’ve been injured on the job. If your injuries keep you from going back to work, it can be even harder. You deserve to be whole and live the best life even if trauma has brought you down. The injury attorneys at Wilson Kehoe Winingham can help.

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