Where do I go if I have been injured because of negligence by my employer or a third party while at work?
Maine and other workers' compensation laws prevent an injury suit directly against your employer for injuries suffered on the job. We would file a workers' compensation case immediately. However, if your injuries were caused by a third party we can bring a negligence action against that party. For example, we fought for a UPS delivery driver who was severely injured in a fall on untreated ice on a customer's driveway. We were able to secure him compensation from UPS and the homeowner's insurance company for a total of $300,000. In another case we represented an employee of Kelly Services who fell on the concrete factory floor in a manufacturing plant. We were able to sue the manufacturer and her workers' compensation insurer to obtain a package of compensation totaling $550,000.
What do I do if I have been injured due to harassment or discrimination at work?
We specialize in applying the law of workers' compensation PLUS the federal and state laws against harassment due to gender or other characteristics. For example, we represented a female shipyard worker who was sexually harassed at a large shipbuilding facility, and were able to collect workers' compensation benefits and compensation under Title VII in a federal legal action to collect over $300,000.
What if I assert a work injury claim and get fired or denied work?
Maine and federal workers' compensation acts prohibit termination or any discrimination because an employee claims a work injury. We have been called in to try such cases many times. For example, a Caribou, Maine, full-time UPS delivery driver was assigned to an easier regular part time job for six months after a severe back injury. When he applied for the job on a permanent basis (when the job was advertised to the public), he was not hired. We successfully established that he was entitled to the job, providing the employee with thousands of dollars in back pay, plus workers' compensation benefits for his wage loss as a full-time driver, and his attorney fees and costs.
Can I collect workers' compensation benefits and SSDI at the same time?
Yes. In fact, many seriously injured workers who are unable to work full-time should apply for SSDI benefits when they are out of work or expected to be out of work for over one year. You are not "insured" indefinitely for claiming YOUR benefits on your Social Security account when you are unable to work. If you are awarded SSDI benefits the Social Security Administration may offset the weekly workers' compensation benefits using their formula. SSDI benefits will entitle you to Medicare coverage after two years of monthly disability benefits.
Can I sue my employer for discrimination if my injury is from harassment or I am not reinstated?
Yes. Discrimination lawsuits are not barred by the workers' compensation laws. But you must contact counsel and act quickly to preserve your right to sue and collect damages for state or federal discrimination based on your disability, gender, race, national origin, religion or other protected classification which may have led to the workplace discrimination. Additionally, you may be protected by Maine or federal Family Medical Leave Acts if you are able to return to work but not reinstated by the employer.