Last week, we discussed a matter that may be weighing heavily on many injured workers. Being rendered unable to work due to an on-the-job injury can cause a lot of stress. Time away from employment may increase anxieties about job security. In turn, that stress can delay recovery.
Although workers are guaranteed to keep their jobs for 12 weeks, an important legal protection afforded by federal law, the situation may not be so clear after that time has passed. As such, injured workers may need to act quickly and explore all of their options to maintain a sense of financial security.
An injured employee may feel completely out of options if they are no longer employed and still recovering from injuries. This feeling is very understandable.
Of course, the first place to look is probably workers' compensation benefits. Most employers are required to carry an insurance policy that will provide financial reimbursement to workplace accident victims, which can include coverage for medical expenses and lost wages.
At the same time, however, workers' compensation benefits may be put in jeopardy by a change in employment status. Given this uncertainty, it may be helpful to look to another potential option for recovery: a third-party claim. This may be a possibility if injuries were caused by parties other than the employer. By expanding the reach of accountability, injured workers can seek to recover the full extent of damages to ensure that they have financial stability and can completely cover medical expenses.
Navigating the terms of a third-party claim can be frustratingly complex.
Employees are generally barred from filing a claim against their employer after accepting workers' compensation benefits, even if employer negligence contributed to the injury. As such, these scenarios may require the experience of an attorney.