When injured on your job, you do not always need to file your claim as a worker’s compensation claim. In fact it may be to your advantage to not file a worker’s compensation claim, because your benefits will not be limited. In workers compensation claims you are not allowed recovery for pain and suffering, but only for medical bills and loss of earnings.
How can I file an independent claim?
In short the law reads that if you have been injured at work, you must file your claim under a worker’s compensation claim. However, there are certain exceptions to this rule, which will allow you to bring a separate cause of action for your injuries.
1. If you a 3rd party was responsible for your injuries you can bring an independent claim for damages against the 3rd party. However, there may be a certain amount of money off-set by what you may receive from your workers compensation claim.
2. If you were not considered an employee, you will be able to bring a separate cause of action against your employer for your injuries. Simply working for a company does not mean you are an employee. And not having signed any documentation does not exempt you from employee status. Many factors including the level of control and involvement between employer employee will make this determination. For example independent contractors who work on movie sets are not considered employees per-se, and may have a independent claim against their employee for damages.
Benefit of Independent Contractor
An independent contractor may be able to bring a separate cause of action against his employer and not be considered an employee per se. If you are not considered an employee you will be permitted to file a lawsuit outside of the workers compensation claim board.
Filing a claim outside of the WC board is beneficial because you will be able to recover for medical bills, loss of earnings, future loss of earnings and any pain and suffering. This is generally the most important part of your claim.
Liability for Injuries
Employers are required to provide a safe working environment that is supervised and free from potential dangers. However, filing a claim under workers compensation benefits may actually reduce the value of your claim. Workers compensation claims fail to account for pain and suffering, which can be a substantial element of your personal injury claim.
Before signing any paper work make sure you speak with an employment attorney about your case. You may be able to bifurcate your case in certain situations.
Contacting and Employment Lawyer
The Law offices of Joseph Farzam have successfully recovered millions of dollars for our clients. We fight aggressively to make sure your rights are properly adjudicated. Our trained staff of paralegals and attorneys work diligently to investigate every claim. If you have been injured while at work contact our offices for a free case evaluation. You are not always required to file a claim as an employee and may be able to divide or separate your claim for damages.