As if being hurt on the job were not enough, you may end up being fired from your job also. You will need legal help if that occurs because there is a chance that you are due some compensation. Here is what you need to do:
Note the reason for the firing. You cannot be fired just for filing a workers' compensation claim. You are protected by several laws that prevent that from occurring. However, your job may be on the line for other reasons. You don't have extra protection from being fired if the reason had nothing to do with your injury. Ask yourself the questions below:
Was anyone else fired? If so, the company may be cutting costs and laying people off for issues unrelated to your injury.
Consider any disciplinary issues at your job prior to your injury. Most places of employment have a system in place that addresses issues with employees before they are let go. If you were suddenly fired with no warning and nothing negative on your record, you could have a case against your employer for taking retaliatory actions.
Speak to a workers' compensation lawyer. If you suspect you were fired because you filed a workers' compensation claim against your employer, that is illegal. You can sue your employer for taking retaliatory actions.
Gather evidence. You will need proof that your employer targeted you for firing because of your injury. Speak with coworkers, access any written correspondence from your employer, and tell your lawyer why you believe you have been unfairly let go from your job.
Continue with your workers' compensation claim. You may still be hurt and unable to return to work. You are still entitled to workers' compensation benefits even if you are no longer working at the job. Don't allow your benefits to be cut short because of your firing.
Get Paid. If the court finds that you were retaliated against, you may be entitled to back pay and back benefits from the insurer and your employer in many cases. If you are permanently injured, you may also be entitled to a lump sum settlement from the insurer. The judge has the power to also award punitive damages in the case if they determine that the firing was egregious and negligent.
To find out more about your rights and what to do about being fired, speak to a workers' compensation lawyer. For more information, contact professionals like Neifert Byrne & Ozga.