When you’re hurt on the job, in the vast majority of cases workers’ compensation will kick in to cover your injuries. This is the case, in general, no matter what your injuries are or what the circumstances were that caused them. But what if you’re hurt because one of your coworkers did something irresponsible, and your injuries go beyond what workers’ comp will cover?
In some limited situations, you may be able to file a workers’ compensation lawsuit for your injuries, but it can be tricky. Learn what happens if you are hurt by a coworker, the circumstances under which you can file for compensation, and how a workers’ compensation attorney can be your best ally.
When You’re Hurt by a Coworker
In general, even if your injuries are caused by a coworker, if they occur during work hours and during work activities, workers’ compensation will cover you. In fact, if it was in the course of your work, you may not be able to sue for personal injury, because of the way workers’ comp laws function.
Notify your employer immediately, file an injury report and document what happened. See a doctor if you need medical attention, and abide by the workers’ comp information your employer provides. Make sure you do this as soon as possible before your statute of limitations runs out.
When You Can File a Civil Suit
If you’re injured by a co-worker, you may be able to file a civil suit, but only when the incident occurs during activities not related to work. For example, lunch breaks are generally considered to be on your own time, and not company time, so a civil suit could apply. Alternately, if you have a fight with another co-worker or are engaged in wrestling or rough play, such non-sanctioned activities could result in a lawsuit.
Workers’ Comp vs Personal Injury
The biggest difference between workers’ comp and personal injury claims is what you can collect. Workers’ compensation is designed to pay for your medical bills and lost wages. A personal injury claim allows you to collect pain and suffering, emotional trauma, lost future potential, damages to your personal life and more.
Hiring an Injury Attorney
If you get hurt while you’re at work or on the clock, and you’re not sure what to do or how to approach compensation, there are two things you should do. The first is to report the incident to your supervisor. The second is to contact a qualified injury attorney.
Even if you’re pursuing action through workers’ compensation it can help to have an attorney in your corner. Workers’ comp claims are often denied the first time, and you can appeal the decision, but it requires help from experienced counsel to take the right steps and ensure that you get the compensation you deserve.
If your case would entitle you to collect compensation from a personal injury suit, you’ll need to have someone in your corner to defend your rights and make sure that you get the full compensation to which you’re entitled under the law. The workers’ compensation lawyers at Heuser & Heuser have experience in all kinds of injury case, and we can help to make sure you get compensation for your injuries as well. Contact us today and let’s talk about your next steps.