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i slipped at work and my neck landed on sheet metal, leaving

me with about an inch...
i slipped at work and my neck landed on sheet metal, leaving me with about an inch and a half scar across my neck. i fear that the company i work for is planning on firing me when my 3 month probationary period is up because they see me as a liability. the owner offered to give me some office work but i read that if i go back to work i dont have a case. would i still have a case if i went in? if i dont, can they fire me ? and finally, if i do get fired, would i have a case then?
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9/30/2013
Marsha411JD
Marsha411JD, Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 20,557
Experience: Licensed Attorney with 29 yrs. exp in Employment Law
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Hello,

Thank you for the information and your question. However, I am not sure what you mean by not having a "case" if you go back to work. What kind of case are you talking about? Do you mean for wrongful termination? If so, why would going back to work make any difference? How long have you been off of work now? Are you in a union? What makes you think you will be terminated? Finally, I need to know what State you work in.
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Customer reply replied 4 years ago

i'm not in a union yet, i work in texas, by having a case i meant for suing the contractors. a co worker told me that if i were to return to work, then i wouldnt have one for worker's comp or something like that. i have been of for 1 week now

Hello again James and thank you for your reply. Are you receiving workers' compensation benefits from your employer now? What do you mean by suing the contractors? Are you saying that someone other than your employer is responsible for your injury and if so in what way? Thank you in advance for the extra information.
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Customer reply replied 4 years ago

the only benefits im getting (if any) would be the ER visit, doctor's appointments, and prescriptions. I think the contractor is responsible because of how cluttered the area was, and i got hurt trying to clean it up. also the floor was wet because it rained, if that means anything.

Well, if your employer has WC insurance, then you should also receive partial pay for missed time at work. You will need to speak to their WC insurance carrier or the HR/industrial safety person about that. In Texas, employers can also be self-insured for WC so there is no way for me to guess what the situation is with your employer, so you need to ask. That said, I am still not sure who this "contractor" is? If you mean someone that is working for the employer as a contract employee, then you cannot sue them. The reason I say that is because of the way WC laws are written. They are what is considered a "no-fault" law. That means that employers must pay for work related injuries no matter if the employee or the employer is at fault. In exchange for these types of laws, the legislatures make it the exclusive cause of action for workplace injuries. Meaning there is no ability to "sue" for the injury.

However, in very rare cases, where an outside company is responsible (for example they made defective equipment that was used in the workplace and responsible for the injury, or an outside company's employee intentionally injured the employee in their workplace) there might be a cause of action against a third party. Even if there is though, the employer has a right to recoup any money from the lawsuit that they spent for the worker's injuries. This is very complicated and ultimately you will want to speak to a local personal injury attorney who can actually take a look at all of the facts and working relationships, contracts, etc., to see if you even have a third party to sue.

But in any event, you going back to work will not effect your right to sue anyone. My guess is that this other person you spoke to is implying that if you milk this injury with a longer recovery time and more doctor visits, then you will get more money. But that is not necessarily the case. So, if you are able to return to work, then you should consider doing so that you can retain your job. I say that because you are not eligible for job protection under FMLA yet since you have not worked for the employer long enough and they could, if they choose, let you go for attendance issues if you do not have sick leave accrued. So, that is something to keep in mind when making your decision about returning to work.

Please let me know if you need any clarification. I would be glad to assist you further if I can.
Marsha411JD
Marsha411JD, Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 20,557
Experience: Licensed Attorney with 29 yrs. exp in Employment Law
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