If a person finds himself involved in an accident in the workplace, that individual must understand his or her basic and essential rights. The rights that accrue to an injury in this type of situation are designed to ensure that a person is able to obtain the compensation to which he or she is entitled. These rights are designed to assist a person in getting his or her life back on track following a workplace injury.
Compensation for Damages or Injuries
One of the most fundamental rights associated with a workplace injury is that to compensation for damages of injuries. A person injured in a workplace is entitled to compensation for pain and suffering, lost wages, medical expenses, physical impairment and similar types of losses. As a general rule, a person is entitled to these types of compensation based on current or existing losses as well as losses that reasonably be expected to be incurred in the future. Although common, an employee is not guaranteed compensation for workplace accidents. If the injury was found to be self inflicted or the worker was under the influence of drugs or alcohol, they may not be given coverage.
If an employee chooses to accept workers compensation, they will waive their rights to sue the employer for their injury. Both options need to be considered before deciding which course of action to take.
Right to Reemployment
Generally speaking, if a person is injured at work and required to take time off work for treatment to recuperate, that individual is entitled to return to his or her position of employment (or a substantially similar position of employment). This presumes that a person injured in the workplace is capable of returning to the types of job duties performed before the accident occurred.
Right to Reasonable Accommodation
In the aftermath of a work related injury, when an employee has completed the treatment and recuperation process, there are instances when a person ends up permanently disabled because of that injury. In such situations, the employee may have a right to obtain a reasonable accommodation of his or her disability if the workplace. Oftentimes, the terms of the Americans with Disabilities Act or ADA may come into play in regard to this type of accommodation.
Right to Legal Representation
Cases involving workplace injuries represent complicated legal matters. For this reason, a person does have the right to retain a qualified attorney to assist in pursuing a worker’s compensation claim associated with that type of workplace injury. According to Attorney Edwin L. Gagnon, legal services for this matter vary state by state, so it’s important to get help from an experienced local attorney. In most cases, an attorney taking on this type of case does not charge any fee up front. The attorney receives a only if the client prevails on a claim. The fee typically ends up being a percentage of the amount of money a person receives as compensation for injuries or damages associated with a workplace injury.
Getting hurt on the job can cause workers serious problems. Not only will they be out of work for a period of time, but they will also acquire expensive medical bills. There are certain protections put in place to cover these expenses, so it’s important for employees to know what rights they have and what rights they will give up in advance.