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How to Determine Liability When You're Injured at Work

How to Determine Liability When You
Posted By: Dixie Somers on November 01, 2022

Whether you work in a factory, an office, or somewhere else, if you get hurt at work, your first thought may be: who is liable? It’s natural to ask that question. Workplaces have all kinds of hazards, from equipment with defective safety features to chemical spills and slippery floors. Anyone working in such an environment has the right to know what precautions have been taken to keep everyone safe. And when something goes wrong, and someone is injured because of someone else’s mistake, it’s essential to know who is responsible for making it right again.

Check Your Employment Contract



The terms of your employment contract can shed light on who is liable for your workplace injuries. If your contract specifies that your employer is not responsible for workers’ compensation, then it’s safe to assume they are not liable for your medical expenses. Additionally, if a disability insurance policy covers you, the terms of that policy can help you determine liability, too. If the terms of your contract state that your disability payments will replace your income, then your employer will likely be responsible for covering your medical expenses. If your contract specifies that the disability payments are intended to supplement your income, then you will likely be responsible for the costs of your care. Keep in mind that these are just general guidelines.

Know Your Rights



You have the right to receive workers’ compensation benefits if you get hurt at work. However, you must report your injury to receive these benefits. The key is to document your injury as soon as possible.



Keep a record of all medical appointments, including the doctor’s name, the date, the time, and the reason for the appointment. Also, note the progress of your recovery. If you wait too long to report your injury, your claim may be denied.

In some cases, employers will dispute your claim. They may try to prove that your injury is not work-related. Employers must have a legitimate reason for denying your claim. If your employer contests your claim and you win, you have the right to receive your benefits retroactively. You also have the right to be represented by a workers comp attorney if you do not feel comfortable representing yourself.

Understand Who Could Be Liable



Some various people or entities could be liable for your workplace injury.

Employer- If you get hurt on the job, your employer is usually responsible for covering your medical expenses and any lost wages you incur during your recovery. Your employer may be liable if you work for a small company and get hurt. If you work for a large company, your injury may fall into what is known as a “third-party liability.” That means the company has insurance covering your medical bills and lost wages. If you work for a government organization, the government is usually responsible for covering your medical bills and lost wages.

Worksite owner- If a third party is negligent and causes your accident, or if a defective piece of equipment causes your injury, the owner of the work site could be liable for your medical bills and lost wages.

When you get hurt at work, knowing who is liable is important. The best way to determine that is to check your employment contract, understand who could be liable for your injury, and know your rights as an employee if you get injured on the job.
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