What to do if I became ill due to the fault of my employer?

I slept in my truck overnight and woke up with fumes inside. I became ill and went to ER; I was discharged recently after treatment. I was in the truck due to my company refusing to pay for a hotel room. Should I contact the company informing them verbally or should it be in writing like I have read on other sites? What would you recommend be my next move? I don’t want to make the wrong decision on situation.

Asked on September 23, 2012 under Employment Labor Law, Missouri


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

Legally, it is NOT the fault of the employer. They did not require you to sleep in the  truck, and their refusal to pay for a hotel room did not force you to do this either; you chose voluntarily to sleep in your truck rather than pay yourself for a hotel room. (Note: employers are not required to pay for employee hotel rooms when employees are traveling.) Having chosen voluntarily to do this, you cannot hold your company liable. In addition, even if they had been liable, the most you could recover, ifyou were "discharged after treatment" with no lasting injury, would be your out-of-pocket (i.e. not picked up by insurance) medical costs, which would not be worth legal action.

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 AttorneyPages.com 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.