What To Do When Another Party Is At Fault

Follow steps suggested for a workers' compensation claim plus the Negligence or Dangerous Conduct Steps

Steps for a worker's compensation claim

  • Contact your employer and report the injury or illness.
  • If possible, keep a copy of whatever document you used to report the injury or illness.
  • Get appropriate medical care
    • Be sure to give the doctor or other care provider a complete and accurate description of the accident that caused the injury or the work activities or conditions you believe caused your work illness
      • Use a company form if one is provided
      • If a company form is not provided, write down the date and time that you reported the injury and the name of the person you reported it to
  • Take down the names and addresses of all witnesses to either the accident that caused your injury or the work conditions or activities that caused your illness
  • Make copies of all work restrictions that your doctor gives you. Keep a copy and give the original to your employers
  • Keep track of all time off work
  • Do not sign any documents unless you fully understand them. If there is any doubt in your mind about what the documents mean, you should contact an experienced, qualified workers' compensation lawyer.
  • Contact a competent, qualified workers' compensation lawyer if you haven't received workers' compensation benefits - or notice that you will be receiving them - within 30 days of filing your claim.

Additional steps in cases of negligence or dangerous conduct

    • Make a claim as early as possible against the responsible party
        • In the event of a motor vehicle accident, write to their insurance company
        • If you were hurt at a place, such as a stop or other common location for a work-related accident that is someone else's fault, contact the property's owner.
    • Do not give a recorded statement unless you have legal counsel present
    • Consult with an attorney in the location where you were actually injured to determine what law or laws should be invoked to properly coordinate and maximize the benefits from the workers' compensation and the fault claim
    • Photograph the scene of the accident or the instrumentality of harm in as much detail as you can, especially in the case of a personal injury claim. When possible, document what occurred with pictures as well as words.
    • Make a special effort to get witness names and addresses. Eyewitness testimony is important to proving that someone else is at fault.
  • Start a diary in which you record day-to-day symptoms and disabilities
      • You get paid for pain and suffering, disability and loss of enjoyment of life on a personal injury claim.
      • In the event of severe injuries, videotaping or photographing your day-to-day struggles is advisable.