Stephen Hasner | Workplace Accidents | January 14, 2023
It might be perplexing and worrisome if you sustain an injury at work and your company does not carry workers’ compensation insurance. After all, it is against state law for virtually any employer with at least three employees not to carry it. Following are some actions you can take if you find yourself in this circumstance:
- As soon as you can, get medical attention. Your main concern should be your health and well-being. To rule out any significant issues, it is crucial to contact a doctor, even if you believe your injury is small.
- Report the injury to your employer. Even if they don’t have workers’ compensation insurance, you should notify your employer as quickly as you can about the injury. This will establish a record of the harm, which could be crucial if you decide to pursue legal action in the future.
- Record the harm and any lost wages. Record any medical costs, lost pay, and other costs associated with the injury. If you choose to sue your company, knowing this will be crucial.
- Retain legal counsel. An expert lawyer should be consulted if you are thinking about filing a lawsuit against your company. You can get advice from a lawyer on the appropriate course of action as well as help in understanding your rights and options.
- Contact the Georgia State Board of Workers’ Compensation, ideally after you have spoken with an attorney for legal advice. Your employer could be subject to sanctions if they are required to carry workers’ comp insurance but have failed to do so.
- Take into account additional resources for financial aid. If your injury prevents you from working and you are not receiving any income, you may be qualified for various types of financial aid. This might involve receiving unemployment compensation, disability payments, or aid from charitable or nonprofit groups.
Below are some further considerations that could apply to your situation, depending on the facts and circumstances involved.
It is important to remember that in Atlanta, Georgia, retaliation by an employer against an employee who files a workers’ compensation claim is prohibited. Consult an attorney as soon as possible if you think your employer is treating you unfairly as a result of your lawsuit or the actions you have taken.
Filing a Personal Injury Claim Against a Third Party
Workers’ compensation is the exclusive remedy for most workplace accidents-–but not all of them. If you can find a third party who is liable for your accident, you can file a personal injury lawsuit. The disadvantage here is that, unlike a workers’ compensation claim, you must prove that the defendant was at fault. The advantage is that you can win non-economic damages, which could multiply your compensation.
The most common defendant in a workplace accident personal injury lawsuit is a premises owner. Suppose, for example, that you suffered an injury on a construction site that someone other than your employer was responsible for. You might sue the owner on a theory or premises liability. Real property owners are often liable for injuries caused by dangerous conditions on their property.
As noted, if you are able to file a third-party lawsuit, you can recover non-economic damages on top of economic damages. Economic damages represent things like your medical bills and lost wages. Possible non-economic damages you can receive include:
- Pain and suffering;
- Mental anguish;
- Loss of enjoyment of life;
- Loss of companionship and intimacy (filed by the spouse and children of the victim); and
- Other intangible damages.
Non-economic damages often amount to several times the value of economic damages that the workers’ compensation system offers.
Act Quickly and Decisively With the Assistance of an Experienced Atlanta Workplace Accident Attorney
You must act quickly if you have been hurt at work and your employer does not have workers’ compensation insurance. If you are experiencing problems receiving benefits, don’t be hesitant to seek legal counsel. In fact, the earlier you seek the assistance of a lawyer, the better your chances of a fair settlement will be.
Contact the Atlanta Workplace Accident Lawyers at Hasner Law, P.C. For Help
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