Of all the different types of accidents a person could suffer, those that happen in industrial settings are some of the most catastrophic. According to the National Safety Council, industrial injuries cost employers over $171 billion in 2019, and in the same year, there were more than 4,500 preventable deaths.
If you have been seriously hurt in an industrial accident, you likely have a lot of questions. You need legal advice on how to move forward and how to manage your finances if you cannot return to work right away. Below are the most frequently asked questions about these accidents and the answers to them.
Do You Need a Lawyer After an Industrial Accident?
Time is of the essence after you have been injured in an industrial accident. Evidence can quickly disappear from a work site, and just an hour or two can make the difference between having a case or not. Speaking to a Baton Rouge industrial accident lawyer is the most important first step to take after suffering an injury.
A lawyer will make sure your best interests are protected, and they will also answer all of your questions. A lawyer will also explain your options for claiming financial compensation that can cover the cost of your injuries. Lastly, a lawyer will also help you obtain the maximum compensation you need regardless of the path that is most appropriate for your case.
Should You File a Personal Injury Claim or a Workers’ Compensation Claim?
The vast majority of employers in Louisiana are required to carry workers’ compensation insurance. This coverage provides benefits for employees who are injured while on the job, as long as they were performing the duties of their employment at the time of the accident.
Workers’ compensation is a no-fault system, which means that you can claim benefits even if you were at fault or contributed to the accident. If you are successful with your claim, workers’ compensation will provide coverage for all of your reasonable medical expenses and a portion of your lost income.
After an industrial accident, you may also be able to file a personal injury claim. If another party who is not related to your employer caused your injury, you can file a third-party claim against them. For example, if your industrial accident was caused by a defective piece of machinery, you can file a personal injury claim against the manufacturer.
Personal injury claims do hold some benefits over workers’ compensation claims. For instance, in addition to all of your medical expenses and lost income, you can also claim damages for pain and suffering and loss of enjoyment of life. However, to claim the full damages you deserve, you will have to prove the other party was at fault and caused your injuries.
Can You Sue Your Employer for an Industrial Accident?
Generally speaking, industrial workers cannot sue their employer after an accident, even if they have sustained serious injuries. This is because the workers’ compensation system was designed to limit the number of lawsuits against employers while still providing employees with the compensation they need.
Still, there are instances when you may be able to file a lawsuit against your employer. It is a serious matter when employers do not carry the required amount of workers’ compensation insurance. If your employer is not insured, you can file a lawsuit against them to recover compensation.
Additionally, if your employer does carry workers’ compensation, but the benefits are not enough to cover the cost of your injuries, you may also be able to file a lawsuit against your employer. It is always advisable to speak to a Baton Rouge industrial accident lawyer who can advise you of the many ways you can seek compensation.
How Long Does an Industrial Accident Claim Take?
Industrial accident claims are civil cases, and there is no way to determine how long your case may take, particularly without first fully evaluating the facts of the case. The amount of time your case will take depends on the severity of your injuries, whether you are pursuing workers’ compensation benefits or a personal injury claim, and other relevant factors. A workers’ compensation claim can take six to nine months, while a personal injury case can take one year or more to resolve.
Our Industrial Accident Lawyer in Baton Rouge Can Answer Your Questions
The above questions are likely just a few you have after sustaining an industrial injury. At Big River Trial Attorneys, our Baton Rouge industrial accident lawyer can answer any question you have so you can make the best-informed decisions. Call us now or fill out our online case evaluation form to request a free consultation and learn more about how we can help.