When you clock into work each morning, your mind focuses on the tasks that require your attention. Whether your job is contained entirely within the computer in your cubicle, in the kitchen where you cook, or on a large construction, you know it’s important to keep your head in the game. When a person is injured on the job, however, it may not register immediately what you need to do first, but hopefully co-workers and/or your supervisor are there to help you determine the severity of your injury and assist in your care. An injury that requires a visit to the emergency room will likely result in a Workers’ Compensation claim, which will definitely change your relationship with your employers.
Whether this change happens for the better or worse depends on the situation and the how quickly your case is settled, or if you decide to accept Workers’ Compensation at all. Typically, any employee who qualifies and accepts the benefits waives the right to sue the employer for damages. Therefore, what is received from your Comp claim will go toward satisfying missed wage and any expenses accrued following your injury. If you are unable to come to an agreement with the administrator of your claim and feel it necessary to call an attorney, there could be repercussions that affect your relationship with your employer.
Does this mean you could be fired while on Workers Compensation? It is not uncommon for an employee to worry about being terminated because of on the job injuries. Legally an employer cannot fire a worker for sustaining injuries or filing a claim. Doing so can open the door to a lawsuit for wrongful termination. If you suspect your employers’ attitude toward you has cooled following your injury and you suspect they are looking for a way to edge you out of the company, you should keep all paperwork related to your injury and claim and consult with your attorney about steps to take if it comes to that.
Let’s suppose, however, that your job is not in danger, but tensions over your compensation claim have tested your relationship with your employers. If you have an attorney helping with your case, he/she may be able to offer advice about communicating with them in a civil manner and working toward a resolution that brings you the benefits you need without cooling the workplace atmosphere.