A nonprofit organization is one in which no profit is assumed by the company. All the proceeds are used to pay employees and the rest goes back into the pockets of others rather than the company itself, which is a fantastic situation. These are typically great organizations that are designed to offer help to those in need as well as benefit those who use the services of the nonprofit. It makes people wonder, though, what kind of liability a nonprofit has if they are employed by or volunteer for the organization and end up hurt on the job. With a traditional job with a for-profit company, the employee can sue for personal injury if their injuries are the result of negligence on behalf of their employer, but what does this mean for those employed by a nonprofit?
Can a nonprofit be sued for personal injury?
Personal injury is everywhere. Someone could fall over a cord that’s lying on the ground while they’re working for, volunteering for, or simply visiting your nonprofit office locations. That person can then sue the nonprofit for personal injury because the cord should not be lying haphazardly in the middle of the floor. A nonprofit can face a personal injury lawsuit whether you are an employee, a volunteer, or a visitor. If you’re considering a lawsuit against a company like this, it’s time for you to understand what it means to file a lawsuit of this nature, what you need to have on hand, and how it works.
Can I Sue for Personal Injury?
If you want to file a personal injury lawsuit against anyone, you need to be able to prove several things. You cannot just say you’re injured, file a lawsuit, and walk away with a large payout from the company. You must be able to prove several key factors:
– You were injured. This is the most important thing you must prove if you plan on filing a personal injury lawsuit. You must have an injury, you must have a doctor’s note confirming your injury, and you must be willing to provide access to the medical records pertaining to your injury since your accident.
– You must be able to prove the nonprofit had a duty to care. This means the nonprofit owes you a duty of care to keep you safe when you are on the premises.
– You must be able to prove the nonprofit breached that duty of care and it resulted in your injuries. It is imperative you are able to prove their breach of duty directly caused you to suffer an injury.
Once you’ve been injured, you must seek medical care immediately. Waiting too long to see a doctor could allow the nonprofit to argue perhaps your injuries are not as serious as you claim, that they were caused by something that happened later and elsewhere, or that they are not to blame for your injuries. Furthermore, your own personal health is reliant upon your visit to the doctor. If you don’t notice a bodily injury, you could still suffer from internal injuries that cause you excessive health issues later.
What Happens after My Injury?
Once you suffer an injury and you contact a doctor, you want to speak to a personal injury attorney. It’s possible to represent yourself in this situation, but it’s never recommended. The laws are strict regarding personal injury lawsuits anywhere you live, and you need to focus on your health and rehabilitation. Your attorney will speak to you regarding your case, help you figure out what to do next, and help you understand how the entire process works.
You could be entitled to damages from the nonprofit if it is their fault you are injured. For example, if you were working for a nonprofit in a building that’s got several leaks. The nonprofit keeps putting off fixing these leaks despite numerous complaints by employees and volunteers and you slip and break your leg, the nonprofit is negligent. You could sue them for damages such as the following:
– Medical expenses from the injuries you suffered
– Pain and suffering
– Lost wages
– Inability to earn the same income
Every case is different. The damages to which you are entitled might differ from the damages someone else is entitled to for a similar accident. You will need to prove that you suffered damages from this accident, but that is an easy task when you have injuries. Your attorney will also help you with the paperwork and the process of handling the insurance company that represents the nonprofit.
For example, you might be asked to sign medical release forms and think nothing of it. You sign those forms and the insurance company is now free to access your medical records, But you might not realize they are free to access your medical records from birth forward. This is their way of trying to figure out if you have any prior medical problems that might make you more susceptible to your injuries. They can argue you had a pre-existing condition that caused your injury rather than the nonprofit’s actions.
You must provide the insurance company with your medical information pertaining to anything that happened since the accident, but you are not required to sign a medical release providing the company access to your lifelong medical records. Your attorney can advise you when you’re being scammed into making poor decisions.
Call an Attorney
You can sue a nonprofit, but you must be able to prove what happened to you is their fault. You cannot sue them if you were not injured because of their negligence, and you cannot sue them if the issue you faced was your own fault. Let’s use the previous example. The nonprofit for which you work has several leaks anytime it rains, and they simply haven’t been able to get it fixed because the contractor hasn’t had time to get the materials in place. The company works to make sure everyone knows there are slick wet floors by placing signs by every leak, taping the areas off, and sending out an in-office memo. If you ignore those signs and the tape, slip and fall and break your leg, the nonprofit is not to blame.
You are to blame, and you cannot sue. Your attorney will tell you this when you call to make an appointment, and they will help you understand why. You do have rights as a person injured at your place of employment, but only within the realm of the law. If you think you can sue a nonprofit for your injuries to help you cover the cost of the medical bills you’re incurring, call an attorney to discuss your rights.