Many workers think their only option when being injured at work is being placed on workers’ compensation. The truth is that employers in North Carolina must not only carry workers’ compensation coverage for workers, but they must also be compliant with all rules and regulations set forth by OSHA to avoid a potential lawsuit.
Employers have a significant amount of control when injuries occur in the workplace and their actions following a workplace employee injury may include: placing an injured worker in a different position where the physical injury does not prevent them from working, approving the employee for workers’ compensation until the injury is rehabilitated, and of course, there are some rogue employers who may actually fire the worker and claim contributory negligence when a workers’ comp case is filed. Regardless of employer actions following an injury, those employers who have violated any workplace standard required by OSHA can be held liable, but it will take an aggressive and experienced workers’ comp law firm representing the case to investigate and file with the appropriate court.
Workers Compensation Insurance Rules
It is important to first understand workers’ compensation insurance law. Workers’ compensation insurance is designed to provide immediate benefits to injured workers that include the timely payment of associated medical bills and wage replacement while the injured worker rehabilitates. In return, the law exempts employers from a costly personal injury lawsuit that might include general damage demands for the long-term impact of the injury. This means that those who suffer permanent injury may need to investigate and evaluate the option of suing for general long-term damages. In this instance, any potential lawsuit will include whole compensation for the total impact of the injury going forward, as the lawsuit exemption ends if the employer violates any OSHA regulations.
What a Workers’ Comp Law Firm Can Do
Even injured workers who have been placed on workers’ comp should consult with representatives of a workers’ comp law firm as soon as possible after the incident occurs. Employers often cover up any evidence that could reveal that they have been non-compliant according to OSHA safety regulations. Employees commonly do not know what employers have done in prior cases or what they may be failing to do because of the company information protection policy. Of course, many injured workers know when they are working in unsafe and non-compliant situations, and they can provide effective information for an attorney to begin an investigation. Additionally, a workers’ comp law firm representative can request OSHA to conduct a full official investigation regarding the workplace environment and the prior compliance record for the employer.
Possible Damages When Suing an Employer
Lawsuits that are not associated with an open workers’ compensation claim generally include a claim for all potential damages. If the worker is placed on workers’ compensation while the injury is rehabilitating, those funds will be deducted from any award unless there is a settlement prior to going to court. In cases where no workers’ compensation claim exists, injured workers may be compensated for medical bills associated with the injury, lost wages, and general damages for the long-term impact of the injury, even mental anguish due to dealing with the injury for the reminder of life. This can be vital for those who are permanently injured and must file for disability benefits. Serious injury cases with demonstrated gross negligence on the part of the employer can also result in a punitive damage award if the jury thinks it is necessary to make the injured victim financially whole.
Contact Our Workers’ Comp Law Firm
Time is of the essence when an injured employee has standing to file litigation against an employer. Not only is there a particular statute of limitations, but evidence can also fade quickly or be destroyed by an employer when they are aware that legal action is impending. Regardless of whether an injured worker is still employed or not, any workplace injury victim in North Carolina should contact our workers’ comp law firm as soon as possible for a full case evaluation. These cases can be difficult when the case goes to court, and it always takes experienced legal representation in crafting a solid case for maximum settlement value. Contact us today at 1-800-ACCIDENT