I Was Fired After a Work Injury. Now What?

Jun 01 2017

It is illegal to fire someone for filing a workers’ compensation claim — and surprisingly common. Some employers break the law. Others watch their injured workers like hawks, making sure they follow every rule, hoping there will be grounds to fire them.

Whether you were let go because your injury prevents you from working, or your employer retaliated against you for filing a claim, you can still recover workers’ compensation. Call 303-993-8882 for a free consultation.

What Should I Do?

Follow these steps to protect your rights and financial security:

  1. Retain an attorney as soon as possible. At Alverson + O’Brien, we focus on workers’ compensation law and are connected to experienced employment law attorneys. We will put the right talent and resources behind each part of your legal case.
  2. Document everything. Save all records and correspondence related to your injury and your termination. This includes medical records, emails with your employer, bills, etc.
  3. File for unemployment. You have a limited number of days to file a claim for unemployment, so act quickly to ensure you receive this necessary benefit.
  4. Do not speak with the insurance company. Wait until you have a lawyer on your side. You don’t want to say something that will hurt your claim or reduce your recovery.

When Is It Legal to Fire an Injured Employee?

It is never legal to fire someone or otherwise retaliate against them for filing a workers’ compensation claim. If you can show that your employer didn’t have another reason for terminating your employment, you will have a case against them.

Your employer is not required to keep you on the payroll, however, if it is unable to accommodate your work restrictions. In that case, you will be able to recover 2/3 of your average weekly wage (AWW) from the insurance carrier. If you are able to return to work, but in a modified duty that prevents you from earning your typical wages, you can receive temporary partial disability (TPD), which equals 2/3 of the difference between the wages you earn on modified duty and your average weekly wage. This can continue until you reach maximum medical improvement (MMI), your work restrictions are lifted or your employer can no longer accommodate your restrictions.

Who Can I Trust? (Not the Insurance Adjuster!)

You can’t trust your former employer to have your best interests in mind, so who can you trust? Many people turn to the insurance adjusters because they present themselves as friendly allies. Unfortunately, they, too, are out for their companies’ interests and not yours. Their job is to get you to trust them in order to lower your settlement amount — saving their businesses money. If you want a true advocate on your side — one who will work hard for your interests, hire an experienced lawyer.

At Alverson + O’Brien, supporting you and getting you compensation is our entire job. Call 303-993-8882 or contact us online.