Can I file a lawsuit for injury on the job although I was only there about a month?

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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Can I file a lawsuit for injury on the job although I was only there about a month?

I drove a van that picks up challenge clients to take them to another destination. I had a guy who was in a wheel chair who has cyberal palsy. He got strangled and was slumped forward down in his chair. I had to get him from being strangling off his own saliva. After, I had to get him back up right in his chair and he couldn’t help. As I began to slant my legs to wrap my arm and hands around him I step back peddling to pull him, I felt and heard this pop and my back. I continued to get him up but I couldn’t stand up straight. Yet at his drip off destination, I had to get him into this building which doesn’t have a wheelchair ramp but has has about a 2 inch lip in front of door that I have to get him over. I couldn’t stand up, so I placed my elbows on my knees and began lifting the front of his chair as much as I could. I finally got him over and into the building. Reported to supervisor that day. Thought perhaps pull muscle. Into 2nd day could barely move, stand, or sit. The pain had radiated down my leg and left hip as well. Went to there doctors as supervisor gave me form so I can get seen. Doctor figured part of it is that I pinched the nerves around my disc but wanted to do an MRI to see all that’s going on. He took me out of work, wanted approval for the MRI. Believe I seen him 4 times with no changes besides the pain gotten worse. I was out of work over a month while waiting for the approval. I believe it was the company insurance people denied my claim. Bottom line, I had no insurance and have not been able to see a doctor at that time. Things are worse and now I have Medicaid. What should I do? I have not been able to work since.

Asked on December 20, 2016 under Personal Injury, Virginia


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

If you are eligible for worker's compensation, you can claim for that (or if you did and your claim was denied, you can try appealing the denial--to the courts if necessary); if having trouble with worker's compensation, which can be very technical and has lots of rules, hire an attorney who handles worker's comp cases to help you.
Other than worker's comp, however, you may not have recourse: based on what you write, the employer was not at fault in causing your injury--it was unfortunately, but the employer and your coworkers do not appear to have done anything wrong to cause you to be hurt. Liability (other than worker's comp, which has its own rules for when you can get it) is based on fault; with no fault, there is no liabiltiy and hence no responsibility or obligation to pay anything.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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