Who Said You Can’t Make Your Co-worker Pay for the Caused Injury?
There are two ways you can get compensation for the injury you sustained at the workplace. Either you claim compensation under the worker compensation scheme or you file a lawsuit for personal injury, depending upon the nature of the incident and the parties involved.
Most likely, the injury that you want to claim compensation for is already covered in the worker compensation plan. There is no specific list of injuries which are covered under this compensation plan, so as long as the injury happened at the workplace during work hours, it is bound to be covered.
All this can be confusing at times, especially when the injury involved a co-worker. Let’s look at the legal provisions which deal with an injury caused by a co-worker.
While At Work
If you sustained an injury while at work and because of the actions of a co-worker, you should immediately inform your employer regarding the incident in detail so that they can take appropriate action to not only get you the medical assistance you need, but also prevent other employees from sustaining the same injuries. New corporate policies are sometimes enacted to prevent the occurrence of such workplace injuries in the future.
Record Your Injury
It is important that you remember all the details of the injury you sustained, including the physical and emotional trauma caused, the loss of work productivity which happened because of it, the limitations posed by it in your daily life, etc.
Remembering all the details can make all the difference. The HR department at your workplace also documents all the details to protect the company in the best way possible. Make sure you get a copy of all the data they’ve gathered, for your own personal record, as that can help you a great deal if your case goes to court or when you are negotiating a settlement.
Make a Report of the Accident
Many companies have official forms to be filled and procedures to be followed in case of a work-related injury in order to file a valid claim. If your employer does not have a systematic procedure or relevant forms which may allow you to file a claim (most small companies don’t), then you should get one from the board of workers compensation of your state.
You will need to report all the details of the accident in these forms, such as details of sustained injury by you and all associated parties, the premise of the accident, the involved parties, the date and time of the incident, the location of the incident, and any subsequent medical treatments you had to undergo to treat those injuries. Make a copy of all the forms you file with the relevant authorities to protect your side. Remember, your claim is only valid if filed within 30 days of the sustained injury. Failing to file the claim within this timeframe results in you losing your right to claim any compensation under any plan.
Filing a Civil Claim When Injury is Not Work-Related
In the following instances, you cannot claim compensation for personal injury which is caused by your co-worker under the compensation plan. However, you can file a civil lawsuit in the court of law and take your co-worker to court to compensate you for the damages.
If you sustain an injury which is caused by a co-worker but not during work hours, such instances of injury do not entitle you to claim any compensation under the worker’s compensation scheme. For example, an injury sustained during lunch break is not covered.
Another instance when you become ineligible to file a claim under the scheme of worker compensation is if a co-worker intentionally causes you harm over a non-work dispute, such as a dispute over a car accident between you two in the company parking lot.
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