Should I File a Claim for a Workplace Injury? How Does Workers Comp Work? Is It Legal for Them to Fire Me?
You really need to make an informed decision about what’s in your best interest overall – Kevin Jones
Consider the Big Picture:
- What other benefits may be lost?
- What Job Opportunities are available?
- What is the Medical Prognosis?
- Will You be able to Return to Work?
- Will You be able to do the Same Type of Work?
- Will Reasonable Accommodations be available?
- How Close are you to Retirement?
- How Long with it take to find Alternate Employment?
MORE INFORMATION: How To File a Claim for an Injury at Work
Modified Transcript of “Is It Legal for Them to Fire Me?” for the Hearing Impaired
Hi. I’m Kevin Jones, the Worker’s Comp Specialist with the Dodge Jones Injury Law Firm in Eastern North Carolina. I’m here right now to talk to you about some frequently asked questions that I get from injured workers when they come to see me about their claims, or when they give me a call on the phone and they want to know what to do.
One of the most important questions that I get asked is if I file this claim can I be fired and most of the time my answer is yes. It doesn’t mean that you don’t have a claim against that employer for some sort of wrongful termination claim under some particular statutes, however, in the meantime you still don’t have a job. One of the things that I really want to focus on when I first meet with somebody about their worker’s comp claim is to look at the big picture. How long has that person been there? What sort of relationship is that person have with their supervisor, with the owner if it’s a small business? How much animosity has already taken place because there was a claim in the first place, or not?
I have small business employers who bring me their best employee because they’re upset with their workers comp carrier because they won’t pay for a surgery and they really need that person back at work, and can I help them. On the other end of the spectrum I have employers who get very upset that a claim is filed at all despite how bad the injury might be because they’re worried about their premiums going up or their out of pocket expenses or having to be in a litigation and they don’t want to deal with it and they don’t want to pay for it and so they can turn on an employee relatively quickly.
You really need to make an informed decision about what’s in your best interest overall. There’s no easy answer here. You have to look at the whole picture. You have to look at what other benefits might I be losing. What are my job prospects? What’s going to happen with me medically? Am I going to be able to go back and do this kind of work again anyway? People sometimes decide I know that I’m owed these benefits under worker’s comp. I know that they should pay. I know they’re wrong and I’m right, but I’m so scared about losing my job that I’m just going to let it go. I’m going to take this loss because I need to keep my job.
Sometimes just sitting down doing the math on what that means can make a big difference. That’s something that I can help with is let’s do the math on what you’re giving up if you decide that you don’t want to rock the boat with that employer and you’re going to give up that claim because of sometimes actual threats. If you have questions about this give us a call. I’m happy to sit down and talk with you about it.