Every day, millions of workers go to factories and operate heavy machinery. Other workers climb on to roofs, cut down trees, handle electrical wires, and load product. Some workers spend all day driving a semi or traveling from one job to the next. Many sit at desks working at a computer. Though some obviously hold a higher risk than others, there is potential to get injured while executing virtually any job. So, what should you do if you are injured while you are at work?
Workers’ Compensation Insurance Is Designed to Protect Injured Workers
If you are injured while you are on the job, notify your supervisor or employer immediately. Indiana law requires most businesses to have workers’ compensation insurance, which is a type of accident insurance program paid by your employer to provide medical, rehabilitation and income benefits to employees who are injured on the job.
Information on your employer’s workers’ compensation insurance can be found here. If your company does not provide workers’ compensation benefits or if you are being denied those benefits, you should contact a workers’ compensation attorney. More information about Indiana’s workers’ compensation laws can be found here.
Do I Have a Personal Injury Case Too?
According to Indiana law, you cannot pursue your own employer for personal injury even if the funds you receive from workers’ compensation are inadequate for pain and suffering. However, there are circumstances where an employee is on the clock and injured by a third party (i.e. not their employer or a co-worker). In these rare cases, you may be able to pursue the third party for damages.
Here Are Two Examples of Work-Related Injuries Caused by Third Parties:
Example 1: Tom is a pizza delivery driver. While on the clock, driving a company vehicle, delivering pizza, Tom is hit head-on by a person who is negligently texting and driving and suffers serious injury. Tom will not only be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits because he was injured while he was on the job, but he will also be able to pursue the driver of the other vehicle (the third party) for his injuries. Tom’s personal injury case would require the expertise of an auto accident attorney.
Example 2: Pat is an employee of Bob’s Flooring. He is working on a commercial building project installing floor when a the HVAC contractor working for HVAC, LLC drops a heavy piece of machinery on Bob’s foot and breaks it. Bob will be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits from Bob’s Flooring but will also be able to pursue HVAC, LLC for the negligence of their employee. Bob’s personal injury case would require the expertise of a construction accident attorney.
Contact Us Today to Speak to a Workers’ Compensation Attorney about Your Situation
Workers’ Compensation Claims can be confusing and sometimes it is hard to tell whether or not you have a third party claim. We always advise that you contact an experienced attorney to help you understand your claim. Here at Keller & Keller, we offer free consultations. Don’t hesitate to contact us today.