Disability & Workman’s Compensation
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Navigating workman’s comp laws can seem like an overwhelming task. While it would be in your best interest to consult an employment law firm that specialize in compensation laws and regulations, such as our team of legal experts at Shegerian & Associates, the following guide can be used as an introduction to the elements and terms that are particular to this subfield.
The Employee Injured on the Job
An injury at work may entitle an employee to file a workers’ compensation claim. The employee’s injury may be temporary or permanent and may be of a nature that the worker can continue to work with accomodations or require the worker to take time off work. It would be in the employee’s best interest to retain a workers’ comp lawyer to ensure fair treatment and proper assessment of any and all damages and/or injuries.
At Shegerian & Associates we work closely with highly-trained workers’ compensation attorneys who can help you understand your options in the event of a workplace injury.
Employer Retaliation and Employee Claims
Under the worker-compensation law, if the employer retaliates against the employee for filing a workers’ compensation claim, the employee can also file a claim for additional compensation to punish the employer under the worker compensation claim.
There are similar protections under disability discrimination laws for disabled workers, but an employer’s ability to terminate a disabled worker is limited. It depends on whether the employee is able to do his or her job either with or without accommodation.
If the injured employee can do his or her job, the employer cannot fire the employee (even if the employer thinks the employee faces a greater risk of injury on the job due to the disability). If the employee is fired when the employee can do the job, the employee can also file a claim for discrimination.
Damages recoverable under workman’s comp laws are very limited and set by a predetermined formula. In contrast, damages under disability discrimination can include all, part, and future loss of wages, benefits, emotional distress, attorney fees and even punitive damages.
The Jury’s Point of View on Disability Claims and Workman’s Compensation
What happens if the doctor says the injured worker can’t do the job, needs retraining, but the worker is actually doing his or her job?
If the employer’s doctor tells the employer that the injured worker can’t perform his job, but the worker is actually doing the job, then the employer who fires the worker, does so at his own peril.
The jury will probably use their common sense and say that if the worker is doing his or her job, then the doctor is wrong.
Juries don’t like malingerers but do like people who stick it out and try to work even if they have an injury at work. Therefore, the injured employee who wants to work has the jury sympathy and the employer who fires that injured worker may face the wrath of the jury.
Call Shegerian & Associates to Get Resolution on Your Workplace Injury
If you are involved with, or might become involved with a disability or employee compensation claim, contact Shegerian & Associates today to speak with an expert workers’ comp lawyer who can provide you with legal support you need!