We hear this question all the time. The answer is, “well, yes AND no, depending on the facts.”
If you are hurt on the job, and your employer has more than three employees, then you almost certainly have some type of worker’s compensation claim.
The general limitations are, you can’t hurt yourself ON PURPOSE, you can’t be drunk or otherwise intoxicated when it happens, and you actually have to be on the job or in the performance of some job-related duty. Typically, driving to and from work at the beginning and end of your shift does NOT count as being “on the job.” Of course there are a lot of variations to those rules, but those are the basics.
If you are hurt by someone who is works for the same employer, then you typically do NOT have a claim against that person. You’d still have your workers’ comp claim, but no other claims.
If you are hurt by a faulty piece of equipment, then you may have a claim against the company that manufactured it. Likewise, if you are driving a vehicle for work and someone else causes a car accident, you typically will have a separate claim against that person and their insurance company.
If you DO have a separate personal injury claim, then your employer’s workers’ comp insurance carrier will have an automatic lien and a right of subrogation to be repaid what they pay on your behalf.
So while the basics are fairly straightforward, the rest of these claims can sometimes get tricky.
If you don’t have a significant injury, a permanent impairment, or a need for surgery or other advanced treatment, then you may not benefit from a lawyer at all, and most good lawyers won’t take really simple cases where having a lawyer doesn’t really help you.
Our firm handles workers’ compensation cases, and if we can’t help, we’ll refer a case to lawyers we know will help you navigate your claim IF YOU NEED that help. We’ll review your case for free, and if you have a personal injury claim to go along with it, then we will handle that case on a contingency fee basis, so we only get paid if we get you a recovery. If your workers’ comp claim isn’t one where you need a lawyer, but we are handling your personal injury claim, we’ll be glad to give you pointers for the comp claim along the way, and will work out their lien at the end. Contact us today by clicking here or calling us at 919-348-4361 to see if we can help.