Accidents happen to each of us. If you work in an industry where your body is put in harm's way, then you may deserve compensation if you are injured while working for your employer. Maybe you slipped on stray spaghetti and sprained your knee. Perhaps you fell from the roof and injured your spine. If you're asking "Can I Sue My Employer for Not Reporting My Injury?" - The short answer is yes, you may be able to sue your employer for not reporting your injury.
However, it depends on the circumstances of your injury and the specific laws in your state. In many states, employers have a legal obligation to report workplace injuries to the appropriate state or federal agency. This is done to ensure the injured worker is properly compensated for their injuries.
If an employer fails to report an injury, they can be held liable for any damages that result from their negligence. Here's what to consider next with your workplace injury:
- State Laws - The first step in determining whether or not you can sue your employer is to figure out which labor laws apply to your situation. The law varies from state to state, so it is important to research the law in your state to determine your rights.
- Some questions to ask yourself are - "Does my state require employers to report all injuries or are employers required to report only certain types of injuries?" "Does my state have a specific time frame in which my employer must report the injury?"
- Consider the circumstances of your injury when determining if you have a legal claim. If you believe that your employer failed to report your injury because of negligence or an intentional act of wrongdoing, then you may have a legal claim for compensation.
- It is important to consider speaking with a lawyer who specializes in workplace injuries if you do believe that your employer failed to report it. An experienced lawyer will be able to review the facts of your case and determine if you have a legal claim for compensation.
- Try Small Claims - If an attorney is too expensive but you believe you have a case, you can try Small Claims Court. The benefit of small claims court is that lawyers aren’t required. This makes small claims less intimidating and more affordable for most Americans
With Dispute software, you can start your small claims case by generating, signing, and mailing a demand letter and small claims filing in minutes from your phone or computer. Keep reading below for more info on how to move forward.
Write a Demand Letter
A demand letter is a formal letter asking for payment. Strongly worded demand letters on professional letterhead have a better chance of reaching a settlement out of court than regular letters. At Dispute, you can generate a demand letter in minutes.
- On the top, in the address block, put in the company name and address. You can find the registered agent at the bottom of this page.
- Next, put the subject line as 'Re: Demand for Payment'
- In one sentence, tell them how much the dealership owes you which you will claim in your small claims lawsuit.
- Then, in two to three sentences describe your issue.
- Finally, state in plain language that you will go to small claims court if necessary. Don't say that you will do anything else, such as speaking poorly about them.
- On the bottom, include your name and address
How to Send a Demand Letter
After you write the demand letter, you’ll want to send it to their registered agent so that it’s guaranteed to go to the legal department. Make sure that you get a tracking number for the mail you send them. It can become important evidence in your case.
Demand letters are often mailed. But if you don’t have time to find a printer, buy an envelope, and visit a post office, we can mail it for you. Send your demand letter with just a click from the comfort of your home with Dispute.
Start your Small Claims Forms
If the dealership does not pay you after receiving the demand letter, you can file a small claim to win your money back. Although this may sound complicated, small claims is actually less complicated than regular court. There are some county guidelines you’ll have to follow, but filing with Dispute can make it easier on you.
You’ll need to find and prepare your small claims form based on where you decide to sue. Usually, people sue where the defendant lives or does business.
Then, wherever you decide to sue, look up the county's small claims system. They’ll provide details on their website about what small claims forms are necessary. You can read more about the small claims process here.
Serve your Small Claims Paperwork
One of the last steps before your trial will be to physically give the small claims paperwork to the defendant. This is called “serving” the defendant. You can’t serve the defendant yourself, but you can find someone else to do it. Many people hire professional process servers. There are legal guidelines that you must follow so that your case can go to court.
Defendants may sometimes avoid service. In order to keep your court date, you should hire a professional process server so that you can be sure all legal guidelines are appropriately followed.
Attend your Small Claims Trial
On the date of your small claims trial, be sure to arrive early and well prepared. Bring at least three copies of all evidence you intend to present, and if your hearing is remote be sure to have provided copies in advance to the other party and to the court. Failure to follow the strict local guidelines can result in your case being dismissed, but if you’ve followed the rules then you can often win by default when the other party doesn’t show up.
How Much it Costs
So how much will you spend by suing in small claims court?
- Court Filing Fees: The amount you will pay to file a small claims lawsuit depends on how much you are suing for and where you are suing. You can expect to pay between $30 to $400 to file the lawsuit. If you cannot afford to pay court fees, you can ask the court to waive the fees.
- Serving Costs: Once the lawsuit is filed, you must notify the defendant that you have sued them. This is called "serving." Serving Costs can range from $20-100 depending upon the local area.
Remember, if you win, you can request that the other party pay for your court fees and serving costs.
The Benefits of Small Claims Court
- Court filing fees are cheaper in small claims than in other courts.
- The process is faster in small claims than in other courts, as your hearing will usually be scheduled 30-70 days after you file the lawsuit.
- Lawyers are generally not allowed in small claims, which helps keep the costs of suing low.
Taking the First Step in Your Lawsuit
If all of this work seems complicated or daunting, rest assured that it's easier than it initially seems. 2.7 million small claims court cases are filed annually in the US, which is only growing as more people realize how easy it is to enforce their legal rights in court.
Suing your employer can be a complex and challenging process. It's essential to gather evidence and understand the legal process. If you believe that you have been the victim of an unreported workplace injury, don't hesitate to seek legal advice. By taking action, you can hold the company accountable for its actions and receive the compensation you deserve.