If you've been injured while at work, you may have heard that workers' compensation is the only form of benefit that you are entitled to receive. In most cases this information is correct, but there are some important exceptions to this rule for hurt workers to be aware of. In some cases, you may be able to file a suit against others for compensation outside of what workers' comp can provide. Read on to learn more about these exceptions.
If you were injured in the course of your work by a product that malfunctioned and caused you harm, you may have a case against the product's manufacturer. You have the right to earn a living and use products at work that are safe, and if the manufacturer knew about a problem with a product or if they should have known about the product and did nothing to warn you or your employer about it, you may be able to sue. Note that you are entitled to both workers' comp for your injury and for compensation from a lawsuit against the manufacturer.
While a workers' comp claim could allow you to receive medical treatment and a partial salary benefit while you recuperate, the benefits tend to stop there. Even if the injury turns out to be permanent, you won't be entitled to get as much as you could by filing a product liability suit against the manufacturer. For example, a suit against the faulty product could result in payment of all medical expenses, lost wages (all of them, not part of them), pain and suffering and more. Another important aspect of filing suit is the potential to get punitive damages assessed against the product manufacturer. This is an amount over and above your own damages that send a message about the company's failure to prevent harm.
Many workplaces require workers to work around toxic chemical and substances that could injure you and/or make your sick. Some of these can cause acute injuries, which happen suddenly. One example of an acute injury is chemical that burns your skin or lungs. Other toxic substances show their effect on the body more gradually, but are just as serious. Long term exposure to toxic substances like asbestos may not become apparent until years later, but that does not mean that you are not entitled to be compensated for the damage done by it. In the case of a toxic substance like asbestos, a harmed worker can take advantage of a settlement set aside in a large class action lawsuit for the victims.
If you are the victim of either of these types of workplace injuries, talk to a personal injury or accident attorney right away.
When you sell stock photography, there is always a risk that someone may use your image in a way that you didn't permit in the licensing agreement. When that happens, you need to protect your licensing rights. The best way to do that is to work with a copyright and licensing attorney. I've spent a lot of time researching fair use and licensing restrictions. I hope that the information here helps you to not only understand your rights as the creator but also to learn how to document and enforce those rights and seek legal resolutions when they are violated.