Albany, OR asked in Workers' Compensation for Oregon

Q: I got a large burn at work. The first aid kit did not contain what I needed. Can I press charges?

The first aid kit at my work was under equipped and did not contain antibiotic ointment or conforming gauze rolls. I was not able to immediately treat my wounds and had to leave work and purchase my own first aid supplies.

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1 Lawyer Answer
Spencer  Aldrich
Spencer Aldrich
  • Workers' Compensation Lawyer
  • Portland, OR
  • Licensed in Oregon

A: The simple answer to your question is "probably not." As your injury was on the job, your remedy is the Oregon WC system and that generally prevents you from being allowed to sue your employer for negligence (i.e. your harm caused by their breach of a duty to keep appropriately stocked med kits). Also, "pressing charges" generally implies a criminal action with the police which seems unlikely (but is outside my expertise). Maybe OSHA/DCBS could be involved, but that's also outside my expertise.

From a WC perspective, if you sought professional medical care (ER, urgent care, etc.) you should be sure to notify your employer of the injury (if you haven't already) and make a WC claim. This will get the ball rolling on getting WC to pay the medical bills and potentially your lost wages if the doc took you off work or gave you restrictions that can't be accommodated.

If you just treated yourself with OTC stuff from the drug store and were not taken off-work by a doctor, making a WC claim probably isn't worth your time.

Tim Akpinar and Jennie Lynn Clark agree with this answer

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