When you are injured while on-the-job, you are usually entitled to compensation for your injuries through workers' compensation insurance. However, if your employment is terminated at some point, this might complicate your workers' compensation claim and you will want to bring this up with an attorney.
Employers Cannot Terminate You in Retaliation for Being Injured
If you are terminated shortly after filing a workers' compensation claim, you may be able to argue that you were the victim of wrongful termination. You may then be able to have your job reinstated or receive compensation for your lost wages.
If you are injured before your employment officially ends, you will still be able to file for workers' compensation because you will still be within the scope of employment. You may even be eligible when you are walking to your car on the day that you are fired.
Employers Can Fire You for Any Legal Reason
You may be fired for poor work performance, the company suffering from financial problems, or for any legal reason. For example, your employer might discover that you misrepresented your work experience on a resume.
Workers' Compensation Time Frame
You will have 90 days to file a workers' compensation claim. However, you will want to act quickly because the longer you wait the harder it will be to preserve evidence. Otherwise, you might not be able to preserve your legal rights.
The insurance provider will do everything possible to try to deny your claim. For this reason, you will want to work with an experienced workers' compensation attorney who will argue on your behalf.
Compensation Outside of Workers' Compensation
The problem with filing for compensation outside of workers' compensation is that you will no longer benefit from the no-fault system found under workers' compensation. Therefore, you will need to prove that your employer is at fault for your injuries.
However, even if you are able to file for workers' compensation, you might also file a personal injury claim. There might be a third-party who is responsible for your injuries. For example, a product manufacturer or a subcontractor might have been negligent and this contributed to your injuries.
Filing for compensation from a third party is recommended because you may be entitled to compensation for damages that you would not be entitled to if you were filing a workers' compensation claim alone. You will also want to maximize the degree to which you are compensated so you can pay for all your bills.
For more information on workers' compensation, companies like Neifert Byrne & Ozga can help.