If you had been subjected to an unsafe working environment, getting hurt on the job may have been entirely avoidable. Most company’s workers’ compensation insurance will take care of injured employees, but these benefits do not always provide enough to compensate employees for their injuries. Injured North Carolina workers might want to meet with a Winston-Salem workers’ compensation attorney to explore their options, especially if the accident was due to employer neglect.
The team at Lewis & Keller has been helping injured workers for years, and if you have been injured in an unsafe environment, we can help. When hurt on the job, you should keep the following information in mind.
What is Covered by Workers’ Comp?
Generally speaking, employees will be covered by workers’ compensation insurance payments if they have been injured at the workplace. These injuries can run the gamut from related illnesses, such as those caused by asbestos and other toxic substances, to physical injuries. Sometimes a workplace accident can even result in temporary to permanent disability for which simple workers’ compensation will not be enough long-term.
In these cases, it might be necessary to sue for further damages, although employees are often told they give up their ability to sue when they accept workers’ compensation payments. However, there are some exceptions to this rule.
When You Can Sue Your Employer
Depending on where you live, you may be able to take your employer to court if your personal injury was the result of intentional or negligent action. In other words, if your employer knew (or could have reasonably been expected to know) that you were working in an unsafe environment, you can hold them liable for your injuries. In many cases, proving that an employer was at fault can double your workers’ compensation benefits or more.
Proving Your Employer Was at Fault
The burden is on you to prove that your employer was responsible for your injury, and typically, this will not be easy to accomplish. Just because an employer was thoughtless or a little careless does not mean you will be able to prove a successful case. Instead, what you have to show the court is that the employer actively disregarded proper protocol and workplace safety, ultimately leading to your specific injury.
A good way to gauge employer ignorance is by following standard mandated workplace safety regulations as set by OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration). If your employer intentionally removed safety equipment or failed to adhere to common federal regulations, you might have a case.
What to Do After You’ve Been Hurt
If you have been hurt on the job and you believe that you can prove that your employer acted harmfully, you will need to start collecting as many records as you can, including medical records and whatever notes from work you can take. North Carolina residents will then want to present this information to a Winston-Salem workers’ comp attorney.
Lewis & Keller have been helping area workers receive the benefits they deserve for a long time, and we can help you. For more information on how an unsafe working environment can impact your case, contact a representative of our office today.