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Can You Sue Your Employer for a Work Injury in Oregon?

Workers’ Compensation limits employer liability in Oregon by granting claimants benefits for lost pay, medical expenses, and other costs without having to prove that the employer is at fault. This no-fault system means that the employer cannot be taken to a jury trial, and benefits cannot cover the adverse effects of an injury to the employee’s life outside of work. In many instances, especially in cases of minor injuries without serious, long-term complications, this system protects both the employer and the employee.

However, there is an important exception to this rule. Until 2001, employers could not be sued in court even if they had denied an employee’s Workers’ Compensation claim. The Oregon Supreme Court decided in Smothers v. Gresham Transfer that individuals whose employer had denied their due coverage may take up the matter in the courtroom. In 2017, the Oregon Supreme Court ruled that employers cannot deny additional claims for the later effects of injuries that resulted from the same workplace incident.

If you have been injured on the job, you are entitled to Workers’ Compensation benefits. When your initial claim is denied, or your later claim is denied for effects that developed later, you need to consult with an experienced attorney. Mark Thesing Inc. is here to discuss employer liability and defend your rights.

work injury claim form

The Basics of Workers’ Compensation

Worker’s compensation is paid by an employer’s worker’s compensation insurance. If you, as an employee, become sick or are injured at work as a result of your job, you may be eligible to file a worker’s compensation claim. Some workers may worry that, depending on who is at fault, they may or may not be covered, but who is at fault is not necessarily as crucial as to whether your situation has occurred due to your work. It’s always best to consult a workers’ compensation attorney in Oregon.

What Every Employee Should Know

Most workers don’t think twice when they accept their employer’s worker’s compensation insurance payments, but they should. When an employee is injured at his or her workplace and has accepted the worker’s compensation insurance, they no longer have a right to sue their employer. In times past, before worker’s compensation insurance, people could not afford to sue their employers. A workers’ compensation attorney will tell you that this led to a law requiring every employer to provide worker’s compensation insurance to provide for lost wages and medical care for employees and protect employers from being continually sued. In most cases accepting your employer’s worker’s comp insurance is the best choice, as it protects everyone.

two construction workers on a ridge

Why Ankle and Foot Injuries Are So Common In Construction Work

Ankle and foot injuries in Oregon are caused by a variety of job-site hazards: falling objects, slippery surfaces, trips, and falls, or equipment malfunctions. According to the National Safety Council, in one year alone, construction workers had over 18,000 lower extremity injuries that caused days away from work in the private sector. Of that number, 4,500 were ankle injuries, and 3,620 involved feet or toes.

Your Most Used Body Part

The problem with construction work is that you spend a lot of time on your feet, causing ankle and foot injuries. Workers and employers need to make sure there is an excellent level of safety compliance. There also needs to be a culture in which people see safe working methods and adequate footwear as mandatory; as a natural part of work and doing business.

You Are What You Wear

Safety is critical, but with safety gear, comfort is also important. There are many challenges in the outdoor construction industry with finding appropriate footwear. Working in environments with so much walking, employees need something thats not only comfortable but will also protect them from ankle and foot injuries.

For construction employers, ensuring workers reduce the risk of foot or ankle injuries rests on creating a culture of safety, educating workers about hazards, and requiring everyone to wear proper footwear.