If you get into a car accident, you may suffer some pretty serious injuries. You may end up in the hospital for days or even weeks. You might be out of work for a while too. The last thing you’ll want to worry about is getting fire for needing to take time off to recover. A lot of people ask whether you can get fired for needing time off due to a car accident in Louisiana. The technical answer is no – your employer can’t fire you for this reason. However, they can fire you if you’re not able to do your job.
Louisiana, as is most other states, is an at-will state. This means you can be fired pretty much at any time, for any reason. As long as your employer gives a reasonable reason for letting you go, there’s nothing you can do.
You may be able to collect unemployment, but is that your only right? Not really. If you’ve been terminated following your serious car accident, you should call a Lake Charles car accident lawyer right away. They can review your case and let you know what rights you may have.
How Much Time Off is Too Much Time Off?
Some car accidents are more serious than others. You may end up with injuries that require surgery and physical therapy. You may not be able to do your job. If you’re going to miss a significant amount of work, you’ll need to have a discussion with your employer.
If you’re only going to be out a week or two, you can probably arrange to use your vacation time. But if you’re going to miss weeks or even months, your employer is not going to be happy. And, while they may pretend to be accommodating, don’t think they’re pleased with the situation.
Unfortunately, your employer doesn’t have to give you the time off. They can tell you that, once your personal time is used up, you’re required to be back in the office. If this happens, you risk being fired if you don’t show up as scheduled.
What Are Your Options?
You don’t have many options when it comes to arranging for the time off you need after your Louisiana car accident. This is why it may be a good idea to consult with a Lake Charles auto accident attorney right away. They can help negotiate with your employer or give you advice on what to do next.
The best option would be to request leave under the FMLA (Family Medical Leave Act.) Under this act, you may be able to request unpaid time off from your job while you recover from your injuries.
Most employers do offer their employees FMLA protection. As long as they have more than fifty employees, they have no choice. Under the FMLA, if you qualify, you can take up to twelve (12) weeks of time off from work to take care of an immediate illness or medical issue.
The other option would be to request a leave of absence. During this time, you can apply for short-term disability. You may even have supplemental insurance such as Aflac. Your Lake Charles car accident lawyer can help you apply for this coverage.
What if You Do Get Fired?
If you get fired because of your car accident, you may or may not have a claim for damages. Quite frankly, wrongful termination cases are some of the hardest to win. This is because you’re an at-will employee.
If you’re fired as a result of your car accident, you can always apply for unemployment benefits. Under unemployment, you only get about 2/3 of your average weekly wages. And, unemployment only lasts for so long.
The defendant should be liable for the wages you lose. Your Lake Charles injury lawyer at Veron, Bice, Palermo & Wilson, LLC will demand that you be compensated for the difference between what you would’ve earned at your job and what you receive on unemployment.
Unemployment will run out after a few months. This means, at some point, you won’t have any income. You’ll need to pursue the defendant for any future lost earnings or actual lost wages. Your Louisiana car accident attorney will fight to get you the compensation you deserve.
Contact a Car Accident Lawyer in Lake Charles, Louisiana
If you’ve been injured in a car accident, you may need surgery and physical therapy. It depends on how serious your injuries are. If you’re worried about losing your job because of your recovery, call and speak with an experienced car accident lawyer in Lake Charles.