Getting injured in a workplace accident can alter the course of your life and require you to take time off work. In the face of severe workplace injuries, you may be wondering if you can file a lawsuit against your employer, particularly if someone’s negligence contributed to your accident.
However, in most cases your only opportunity for compensation will be to pursue a workers’ compensation claim after a workplace accident. This is because workers’ compensation is a mandatory benefit that applies regardless of your employers’ fault in the matter. As long as your accident meets certain conditions, you will be eligible to file a workers’ comp claim.
Why File for Workers’ Compensation?
Employees cannot sue their employer for injuries sustained at work, if the injuries are caused by the employer or fellow employees. Instead, Washington, DC law requires an employee to file a workers’ compensation claim, unless the employer or fellow employee intentionally caused the injury. This requirement is intended to make obtaining compensation for workplace injuries easier, quick and less complicated than a traditional lawsuit. It could take many months or even years to litigate a complex workplace accident. Plus, you would have to prove that your employer was negligent. In a workers’ compensation claim, however, there is no need to prove negligence. Instead, as long as you were injured while performing your work duties, you are entitled to compensation. However, the damages you may receive can often be less than what you receive through a traditional lawsuit. It is required for every employer in Washington DC to carry valid workers’ compensation insurance, provided that they have at least one employee. Even homeowners are required to carry workers’ compensation insurance if they have domestic workers who perform 240 hours of labor in a calendar quarter.
Finally, employers are forbidden from retaliating against workers who file for workers’ compensation. Any attempt to do so would give you grounds to file a retaliation lawsuit, thus ensuring that you receive both medical benefits and fair compensation for damages. For these reasons, it’s possible that a workers’ compensation claim may present a good path to getting coverage for your injuries.
When Do I Qualify for Workers’ Comp?
Nearly any injury you sustain on work premises can qualify you for workers’ compensation benefits, provided that you were engaged in a work-related activity at the time of your accident. You should report these injuries to your employer as soon as possible, at which point your employer will have time to report the incident to the Office of Workers’ Compensation. Filing sooner rather than later is in your best interest: Your claim’s approval rate will increase if you immediately report the injury and can establish a clear record of medical treatment for your injuries.
Powerful Representation for Your Claim
Of course, in some cases, your employer’s conduct may be so egregious that a personal injury lawsuit could be a better avenue for recovering your losses. At Simeone & Miller, LLP, we’ll take the time to customize your case strategy and ensure that you get maximum compensation for your claim. It’s our goal to treat each client as if they were a member of our own family, and to date, we’ve won over $100 million on behalf of our clients. If you’ve been injured in the workplace, let us help you review the options and get the compensation you need!
Contact us today for more information about our services.