Virginia is an “at will” employment state and wrongful termination and/or retaliation lawsuits against an employer are difficult to advance. The best way to handle this situation is to make a lost wage claim and/or loss of earning capacity claim in connection with your personal injury claim.
Can my employer fire me for requesting accommodations caused by a non-job-related accident?
If you are injured in an accident in Virginia, the state’s personal injury laws allow you to claim multiple forms of damages in your injury claim. One of these is wages that were lost due to your accident. However, you must be able to prove how much income you lost with supporting evidence such as proof of income, employment status, and the correlation between your inability to work and your injury.
If your doctor recommended job limitations following a personal injury accident, we urge you to speak with an experienced Virginia personal injury attorney as soon as possible. A skilled lawyer from Shapiro, Washburn & Sharp can ensure that you receive due compensation for wage loss associated with your accident without putting your job at risk.
Can My Employer Terminate Me For a Non-Work-Related Personal Injury?
Any employee can experience an injury outside of working hours. In one recent year, a total of 39 million people experienced medical injuries on their personal time. If you sustain an injury unrelated to your job, medical bills are going to be a huge concern, another is going to be losing your job.
In the United States, most employees are at-will. In an at-will environment, employers are able to fire workers at any time and with no justification, as long as their termination is not illegal according to federal or state laws. In fact, Montana is the only state in the U.S. that does not observe any type of at-will employment doctrine.
In other words, it is perfectly legal for an employer to fire an employee for a non-work-related injury, and they are free to do so without providing a clear reason. However, your employer may not legally terminate your employment if it is in retaliation for whistleblowing or amounts to discrimination. At-will employers are also not required to give workers notice of an impending termination.
In Virginia, as in other at-will states, employers are able to fire an employee for a non-job-related injury as long as they have good cause. For example, if you are unable to do your job because of absenteeism or your injury, or your extended absence created a hardship for your employer.
Filing a Personal Injury Claim
Personal injury victims are entitled to file an injury claim when a negligent party contributes to or causes their non-job-related injury. For instance, if you were hit by a car while walking home from the market, you could file a personal injury claim with the negligent driver’s insurance company.
You and your lawyer can pursue financial compensation from the defendant for medical costs, pain, suffering, and lost earnings due to the loss of your job if you were fired after the accident.
What Damages Might I Be Eligible For If I am Unable to Work After My Accident?
Unfortunately, accident victims often lose the income they need to support their families as a result of their injuries. If you were hurt and lost your job, protect your financial future with sound legal guidance from a reputable Virginia personal injury lawyer who can accurately calculate the total value of your damages and prove them in a claim. These can include:
- Lost current and future income
- Lost sick and vacation days
- Lost commissions and bonuses
- Lost job-related benefits, such as health insurance
- Diminished earning capacity
Did Your Employer Terminate You Due to a Non-Work-Related Personal Injury?
The Virginia Beach personal injury firm of Shapiro, Washburn & Sharp is backed by more than 40 years of experience in negotiating and litigating personal injury cases. We offer a free consultation and operate on a contingency fee, so there is no risk involved in finding out what our law firm can do to help you. Call us today at (833) 997-1774 or reach out through the contact form on our website.