If you get hurt on the job, you might think your employer should be responsible. That can be the case, but it depends on what happened. There may also be different ways of recovering based on the nature of the injury. Here's how you should approach your claim.
Who Caused the Injury?
Whether you can sue your employer first depends on who caused the injury. First, take an extreme example of a robber stabbing you. Generally, your employer won't be responsible for someone who isn't part of the business breaking the law.
If there's an accident caused by a coworker, on the other hand, your employer is probably responsible since they're in charge of supervising and training your coworkers. In between those two scenarios, you might have a customer cause an accident. If it's something that could be expected as part of the business, your employer might still be responsible for not taking steps to prevent that type of accident.
Are Employers Ever Responsible for Third-Party Acts?
Going back to the example of a robber, or something like a customer hitting you with their car in the parking lot, there are certain situations where an employer may be responsible. If there have been previous crimes or safety incidents, an employer may be responsible for taking steps to prevent future similar incidents.
For example, a convenience store may need to install a plexiglass shield for its cashiers. A store with a history of parking lot accidents may need speed bumps or stop signs. If this doesn't happen, you'd be suing for negligence for not taking these actions rather than what an independent person did.
How Does Your Employer Pay You?
For injuries directly related to your job, your employer should have workers' compensation coverage. Workers' compensation is a special type of insurance that's generally required by law. It pays for your medical expenses and lost wages if an injury leaves you unable to work. You only need to file a personal injury lawsuit if you dispute what workers' compensation says you're owed.
For other injuries, you may need to file a personal injury lawsuit if your employer doesn't agree to pay your damages. This may involve going to court, but there's still a good chance that your employer will agree to settle and pay you once lawyers get involved.
To learn more about how a personal injury attorney can help you financially recover from a workplace injury, contact a local law firm.