No matter what kind of work you do, injuries are possible. Hopefully, if you were hurt on the job, your employer has worker’s compensation insurance that will help you through your difficult times. However, depending on other factors, you may have additional remedies to pursue as well. Here’s a couple things to think about:
First, always consider a worker’s compensation claim.
To be clear, Abrenio Law does not handle Worker’s Compensation cases. So, we cannot advise you of your rights under Worker’s Compensation. We simply want to make sure that you’ve considered making such a claim if you were hurt at work. To that end, we recently shot a Podcast with our friends at the Injured Worker’s Law Firm, which we encourage you to watch:
With that said, the purpose of this article is to discuss what other claims you should consider if injured at work.
Who injured you?
An important question you’ll need to answer is who caused your injury? If it was due to a 3rd party, you may have a separate personal injury claim against that person. For example, if you were a delivery person injured by another vehicle while making a drop, you should consider a claim against that 3rd party, like any other car crash case. (Click here to learn more about your car crash case.)
How would my worker’s compensation claim affect my 3rd party claim?
In the example above, you’ll likely have a worker’s compensation claim too. This typically will entail getting treatment through the worker’s compensation approved doctors and getting paid for time out from work if your injuries require it.
When making your 3rd party personal injury claim, however, your worker’s compensation carrier will have a “lien” on any proceeds that you obtain in your 3rd party personal injury claim. What’s more, your worker’s compensation carrier must consent to the resolution of your 3rd party claim, or you could damage your worker’s compensation claim.
For that reason, when we at Abrenio Law are handling 3rd party claims for a clients that received (or is receiving) worker’s compensation benefits for the same accident, we work hand-in-hand with their worker’s compensation attorney to make sure we don’t damage their worker’s compensation benefits.
What if my employer caused my injuries?
Not all work-related injuries are caused by third parties. In fact, you can be injured at work for a whole host of reasons. Again, if you are injured at work, we recommend learning about your rights through a worker’s compensation attorney.
However, in some instances, worker’s compensation benefits are not enough, and you may want to sue your employer for your injuries. While this is a very complicated analysis, be aware that Virginia Law provides for a “Worker’s Comp Bar.” What this means is, if you’re eligible for worker’s compensation benefits, you’re typically limited to only those benefits, and you cannot sue your employer in civil court. Indeed, under Virginia Code Section 65.2-307, the code limits civil lawsuits by employees against their employers.
There are certain, narrow, exceptions to the Worker’s Comp Bar. And it’s something that you and your attorney will need to consider based upon the facts of your case. However, the Worker’s Comp Bar is well and alive in Virginia.
Indeed, recently a Virginia teacher sued her school (her employer) when she was shot by a student during class, causing her significant injuries. More recently, the trial court in that case ruled that the Worker’s Comp Bar didn’t apply to her suit against her employer because being shot wasn’t ordinary “risk of her job.”
While, at the time of the writing of this blog, that case is still in active litigation, it does highlight how complicated the Worker’s Comp Bar is. And it can be of consequences when an injured person suffers catastrophic injuries.
Still have questions.
To be clear, this is a very complicated topic. However, our goal is to help injured workers think about their rights as they are considering their options. We do help this provided useful information.
Make sure to check out our Personal Injury & Criminal Defense Practice Pages where we’ve answered many other questions you likely have. Abrenio Law is a Personal Injury & Criminal Defense Law Firm representing individuals in Northern Virginia and throughout the Commonwealth. You can learn more about Abrenio Law by visiting our About Us page. You can also read about some of our Prior Results, and Read Our Reviews. Make sure to contact us at Ph. 703-570-4180 for your Free Consultation.