I Work at a Public Library and Got Injured. Can I Get Compensated?
Everyone deserves to work in a safe and secure environment. Employees should be made aware of any hazards they may encounter and should be advised as to how to avoid them. Most workplaces value the lives of their employees and do everything to create a safe workplace. Unfortunately, this attitude is not shared by everyone who is in a position of authority and management.
If you work in a public library and you have been injured on the job, it is your right to build up a case and sue.
Public institutions are not immune from civil litigation. The fact that the injury occurred in a public building while doing a job that is widely perceived as safe is irrelevant. Indeed, all kinds of conditions and circumstances can create an unsafe environment in a public library. If the building is old, it may contain faulty wiring. If extensive repairs, refurbishment, or renovation is being carried out, whole sections of the building may become filled with hazard and danger. No matter the set of circumstances or series of events that led to your accident, you have a right to sue if you believe your employer is at fault.
You must first retain the services of a lawyer. When an employee is injured on the job, the standard response of most public agencies is to send out an investigator. After a quick assessment of the situation, they will usually try to resolve the matter quietly. They may even offer you a small sum of money and other benefits if they discover that they were in the wrong.
You should agree to nothing without the advice of your lawyer. It is in the interest of the public library and the municipal government that runs it to minimize the amount of money they must pay out. But if your injuries are severe enough, then you should be able to claim more money.
Sitting down and discussing your case with a lawyer can help you clarify what exactly you are suing for. To be successful, a personal injury lawsuit must be grounded in fact. Before you file suit, you should have a legal strategy (or at least the beginnings of one) in place. Working with a personal injury lawyer can help you prepare your case against your employer. They will listen to you with sensitivity and care. They will then be in a position to lay out the specific damages you can claim.
Here are some of the damages for which you can receive compensation:
Your injuries may require a visit to the emergency room. If you had to be rushed from the workplace to the hospital, you will receive a sizeable bill. If your injuries are severe enough, you may need extensive treatment, which will cost even more money. Then there is the cost of recovery and rehabilitation programs. This all adds up; it is right that you receive the kind of compensation that will offset the expense.
Loss of Income
When you are injured, you will probably need to take time off work. This can lead to the loss of your wages. The city government may offer to pay you for the time you had to take off as part of a larger attempt to get you to drop the case. However, you should think carefully about what your new situation will be when you have recovered from your immediate injuries. You may be forced to reduce the number of hours you work each shift. Or, you may have to take a less physically demanding job and also one that pays less. If you find yourself in this position, you can sue the government for current loss of income and future loss of income.
The accident and the consequences of it will bring a great deal of strain and anxiety to your family. The financial difficulties it causes can be especially stressful. You can claim emotional distress for all you have suffered. In many cases, the damages awarded for emotional distress constitute the largest part of the overall compensation.
Once you have sat down and gone through your case with a lawyer, you may be reticent to pursue the matter. This is a legitimate concern. Personal injury lawsuits can run up to $30,000. It is the practice of most lawyers to arrange things so that they get a percentage of the eventual award you receive. In fact, most lawyers will not even take a case unless they know they can win it.
The personal injury lawyer you go to is specialized in their field. They are trained to gather crucial facts, introduce eyewitness and expert witnesses, and bring to bear the right bits of law to your case.
Here are some of the actions your lawyer can take to win your case:
You will need photos of the scene of the accident and the immediate surroundings. You will also need documentation of any emergency calls that were put in and other such papers. You will not have been in a position to take photos if you were rushed to the hospital after the accident. However, the investigators sent by the government will have done so. Filing a motion to obtain all such photos will be one of the first things your lawyer does. You attorney will also send their own investigators to photo the scene and examine the building. Your lawyer can also subpoena surveillance cameras. These can provide irrefutable evidence of your accident.
Eyewitness and Expert Witnesses
Your co-workers may have seen the accident. Patrons of the library may have done so as well. Your lawyer will gather their testimony and may even put them on the stand, if necessary. Your co-workers may also be able to testify to the various problems of the building. This can prove that library officials knew there was a problem and did nothing about it.
In trying to prove how your accident led to your injury, your lawyer will bring in independent medical experts to testify. They can examine your medical records and explain to the jury how your fall, electrical shock, or other type of accident led to your current condition.
To prove your case, you must show that you had an accident, that you did all you could to avoid it, that your employer had a duty to prevent the accident, that they did not do so, and that your accident led to your injuries and all of the problems you have encountered since it happened. Your lawyer will be able to put such a case together and get you the compensation you deserve.