Issuing a lawsuit against your employer for a personal injury claim can be a challenge for many litigants.
Taking the litigation option can be daunting, but it is entirely within anyone who has been injured through some fault of their employer to take the action and where workers compensation is not applicable for any reason.
The various workers compensation laws are obviously key to determining how and when you can sue your employer, as the laws provide a more limited ability to sue for personal injury as they are principally liable for any work injury.
But lawsuits can still be undertaken in specific cases.
There are some key things to think about if you want to ensure your personal injury lawsuit is going to succeed.
1.Inform the Employer
The first step in bringing a personal injury claim against your employer is to inform them of the incident.
This may be done verbally or in writing, but you must do it immediately after the accident. The employer should look into the situation and see if they were at fault in any way. They could advise you to pursue a claim with their insurance carrier if they were not responsible.
2.Fill Out a Claim Form with the Insurance Company
If your employer were at fault for the accident, you must file a claim with their insurance company. If you are entitled to workers compensation then you cannot sue.
Workers’ compensation laws are there to protect employees injured at work while doing their job, providing fixed monetary payments to avoid litigation.
However there are certainly key cases where an employer can be sued such as –
- Intentional cause of accident
- Gross negligence on the part of the employer
- Bad faith rejection of an insurance claim
- You have independent contractor as distinct from employee status
- There is an arrangement with a sub-contractor that related to your accident . . plus other factors that can negate the insurance claim.
You can check the situaiton with insurance by contacting the company directly or through an attorney. The insurance company will then investigate the accident and determine how much they are willing to pay for your injuries.
Most insurance companies will give you a low initial offer in these cases. They may offer you a settlement far less than your case is worth and so you need to ensure you are getting the best advice from attorneys experienced in handling such claims.
4.Calculate the Nature and Extent of Injury
You need to carefully calculate the nature of your injury by obtaining a medical examination as soon as you can following the injury. This is extremely important to understand the extent of the injury and the cause.
Keep in mind that for workers compensation claims the medical examination must be by an approved doctor.
You also need to ensure that you follow the doctor’s advice in order not to create a worse situation and prejudice your claim, if any. You do not need to necessarily take the advice or seek the advice of a company-appointed doctor and you can seek a second opinion if you wish.
5.Calculate Your Damages
Calculating your damages is one of the most crucial processes in pursuing a personal injury claim. This task encompasses both financial and non-financial losses.
Financial burdens may include medical bills, foregone wages, and destroyed property. Non-economic damages are represented by pain and suffering, emotional anguish, and loss of enjoyment of life.
Having all your documentation in order is important before you meet with an attorney. This goes both for financial and medical details and any notes relating to your accident, as keeping this documentation will help in the pursuit of a successful claim.
This will help them give you a better estimate of the value of your case. In addition, you should keep track of any out-of-pocket expenses incurred due to the accident.
Filing The Lawsuit
A personal injury lawsuit can be a challenging process on any number of levels and it is important to make sure you have an attorney who has experience.
If there is not insurance settlement in respect of the claim, then you need to carefully compile the documentation to make the attorney’s role simpler and to assist in processing the claim against the employer. Once you file and serve your claim you undertake the discovery process where both sides exchange information about the case
Finkelstein & Partners LLP is a law firm that has significant experience in handling these cases in New York and New Jersey and you need to have someone who has experience within your state jurisdiction who can understand both the law and the local legal system to best obtain a satisfactory settlement.
Source: Finkelstein & Partners, New York