A trip to the supermarket ended in total disaster. What started as a last-minute errand run left you with broken bones after slipping on a wet floor. The manager apologized for not having a ‘Cleaning in progress’ sign.
For over one week, your leg was up on a contraption at the hospital. And, the near future will not be better. The doctors are very clear that your mobility has taken a huge hit. For upto six weeks, there is no hope of getting use out of the injured leg. Your heart took a deep dive on hearing the prognosis.
The possibility of losing your job seems quite likely. We will show you why this does not have to become a reality. But there is something you should consider doing first as well.
What to Do After the Injury?
Before we discuss how you can keep your job, there is something you need to do. And that involves filing a personal injury claim. If you suffer an injury due to someone’s recklessness, negligence, or intentional act, you are liable for compensation.
In apologizing, the supermarket manager admitted to negligence on their part. The simple act of putting a sign may have prevented the fall. Please note that the lack of intent to cause harm under personal injury torts does not exempt the store from liability.
Indeed, the workers or management did not leave out the sign to see how many people would fall. But, they should have taken due care like a reasonable person would, to ensure no harm would occur.
- Seek A Personal Injury Lawyer
There are differing state interpretations of personal injury laws. Dover personal injury lawyers know the laws that apply in Delaware State. Though, if you decide to take Kennewick personal lawyers to Texas, they would adapt to learn the relevant laws and procedures, but with time.
Seek assistance from a personal injury attorney and make sure the lawyer specializes in slip and fall personal injury cases. The scope of the torts is quite broad. It is not uncommon for lawyers to specialize in specific areas.
Think about it like you would when looking at medical practitioners. While they all take general medicine in the beginning, they will branch out into specific areas at some point. They choose to become surgeons, chiropractors, gynecologists, and more.
- Take Advantage of the Available Legal Protection
Now, let’s tackle the next part of the article: how to keep your job?
The law has mechanisms in place to protect workers. Check what is applicable in your country and take advantage of such. In the United States, there is the Family and Medical Leave Act or FMLA. Eligible employees can have up to 12 weeks of job-protected, unpaid leave every year. But, you must have worked for the company for over 12 months.
Companies that must comply with the federal FMLA are:-
- Private and public schools, at elementary and secondary level
- Public agencies
- Companies with 50+ employees.
You can go on leave after childbirth or severe health conditions. You are also eligible if you care for an immediate family member undergoing a severe health condition.
Please make sure you go through the necessary leave application process. If the employer fires you during this time, it falls under wrongful termination. A court case can reinstate and even offer monetary compensations.
- State-Specific Paid Leave
Some states have paid leave that people with health issues can take. One example is Delaware paid family and medical leave. Like in the case above, you can take up to 12 weeks. Your doctor will have to determine how much time you need to recover.
The same applies in the case of New York Paid Family Leave. The act came to be in 2016 and provides comprehensive leave to working families. It covers bonding time, care for, and assistance for sick family members.
Do take time to find out what applies in your region. As of 2022, only nine states have this provision. Together with the two above, others are New Jersey, Massachusetts, Connecticut, California, and Rhode Island. The policies will not take effect in Oregon and Colorado until 2023 to 2024.
- Work On a Limited Basis
The third option available to you is to return to work on a limited basis. That means you assume roles that will not place you at the risk of further damage to your injuries. You must include several people in making the decision like:-
- Your doctor
- The employer
- A claims administrator, if any
- Your personal injury lawyer.
Everyone’s input is vital because there has to be a clear understanding of what your job entails.
Let’s go back to the case of the broken bones above. You may have a job that needs you to be on your feet and move around. You can negotiate to handle paperwork, which entails sitting at a desk instead.
Limitations or restrictions may also apply to work hours. Medication and the process of recuperation can take a toll on you. Extreme fatigue will be something you have to deal with a lot. The doctor can recommend that your employer allows you to work fewer hours. They can also accommodate you by not assigning very difficult tasks.
The employer may violate the labor code if he discriminates against you due to the injuries. Indeed they should provide a reasonable accommodation that considers the limitations of the disability, whether physical or mental.
Outside of the physical pain, personal injuries come with a host of other complications. The fear of losing your job can put a damper on the whole healing process. The mental anguish of wondering whether you will still have a job can be tough. But, as we have shared, you can take steps to stay employed. The federal FMLA allows eligible employees to take up to 3 months of unpaid leave.
Some states also have paid leave, which can be a big relief. The third option, if open, is to go back to work. But, please get the go-ahead from your doctor first. Your complete healing is the most important thing after a personal injury.