Working in a restaurant is a fast-paced and high-pressure experience. Several people are working in a small space alongside knives and restaurant equipment. Accidents like severe burns, cuts, and other injuries are common; however, some are avoidable.
It is your employer’s responsibility to create a work environment that is safe for you. If you sustained a serious injury while working at a restaurant, your employer could be held negligent for their carelessness. Here is what you need to do if you are injured.
1. Document your injury carefully.
From the moment you sustain a serious injury, whether it is a slip on a wet surface or a broken arm because of a defective ice machine, make sure you document each part of the accident and recovery process. Make a note of how the accident took place when you sought medical treatment and what the doctors have to say about your injury. If possible, take photos of your injury and seek out copies of your medical records.
Take these documents to a personal injury lawyer in Chicago IL or wherever you happen to be. They can determine whether you have a personal injury case for negligence and can provide other legal advice for handling your insurance company and medical bills.
Over time, your memory is more likely to fade, so these documents can serve as concrete evidence if you qualify for a personal injury claim.
2. Identify why you think your employer is at fault.
Not every injury qualifies as a personal injury case. For example, if you slip at work, but your employer installed protective anti-slip mats and placed signage for the wet floor, then it is hard to prove they were a negligent party. While you may qualify for workers’ compensation because the accident happened on the job, there might not be a viable personal injury claim.
When you talk to an attorney, explain why you think your workplace injury was caused by employer negligence. Did your employer fail to repair or replace used restaurant equipment, leading to an accident in the freezer? Did your employer not have proper safety equipment? Documenting these faults can help you build a stronger case.
3. Identify all related expenses because of your injury.
Oftentimes, workers’ compensation only covers the medical bills and salary of an injured employee. It doesn’t take into consideration the other expenses that come with an injury. These include travel costs to doctor’s appointments and physical therapy in the months after.
Worker’s compensation also doesn’t consider the emotional toll. If you sustained a serious personal injury on the job, you could miss out on vacations, major family events, and other activities because of your accident. With a catastrophic injury, you might never be able to enjoy certain hobbies ever again.
Your personal injury lawyer will help you identify this trauma and guide you toward the best course of action in your lawsuit. Your life could be permanently affected by the other party’s negligence, and you deserve compensation for that.
4. Take time to heal.
Do not rush to heal your personal injury and get back to work. Follow your doctor’s orders carefully and rest as long as you can. You don’t want to exacerbate the injury, and you don’t want to give the insurance company’s legal counsel a reason to believe you don’t deserve compensation. Plus, your health should always be your top priority. Your work and legal recourse will follow.
If you were injured while working in a commercial kitchen in the United States, you might be able to bring a personal injury case against your negligent employer. Talk to a personal injury lawyer to see if they can help you.