If you have been injured in your place of work, you may well be entitled to workers’ compensation. These claims are extremely common. With the Bureau of Labor Statistics confirming that over 2.8 million workers are injured in their place of work each year, it’s easy to see why.
However, for the average worker, the laws surrounding workers’ compensation can seem confusing and complicated. There are always people who can help you, and you should always try to seek compensation. In this article, you will learn a little more about workers’ compensation, how it works, and how to make a claim.
Before You Read This, Seek Legal Help
While this article is aimed at helping you understand compensation and workers’ rights a little better, it is not a substitute for professional advice. As the legal team over at www.stewartlawoffices.net explains, “it is essential that injured workers are represented by attorneys who understand workers’ compensation cases and the insurance company.” You should always, therefore, seek professional advice.
When seeking legal help, you may be worried about the financial implications or an obligation to work with a particular lawyer. Don’t worry just yet. Most legal teams will meet with you free of charge, with a view to discussing your case and helping to guide you in the right direction. You will usually not have to pay for this initial meeting.
As the case develops, you may have to pay a small fee but, in most cases, the majority of the lawyer’s fees will come from your compensation or from the opposition’s insurance. This means you can seek legal help without spending a fortune, making workers’ comp even more accessible to those from any kind of background.
Workers’ Comp Explained
Workers’ compensation is payable to those injured in a place of work. Basically, your employer has a duty of care to ensure that the workplace they provide is safe, free from unnecessary hazards, and not dangerous to your health. Sometimes, however, these risks are not managed properly, leaving workers with injuries.
Often, these cases are quite straightforward. An injury occurs, it is reported, and it is witnessed. This makes it very easy for a legal team to build your case and get you the compensation you deserve. However, sometimes things can get more complicated. This is why a dedicated, specialist employment lawyer is the right person to speak to. “Going it alone” against a big corporation or employer can be a challenge.
Most Common Causes of Workers’ Injuries
There are, surprisingly, injuries and claims in almost every single line of work. Unfortunately, the most common accidents happen in transportation. There are so many haulage firms and jobs that require driving that it makes sense that the majority of injuries and fatalities occur on the roads.
However, many, many other workplaces deal with injuries. Some of the most common include slips, trips, and falls, contact with sharp or dangerous objects, and fires or explosions. Let’s get into the 4 things you might not know - and should know - about workers’ compensation cases.
1. You Are Protected in (Almost) Every State
In every US State, other than Texas, companies are required to hold insurance that covers workers’ compensation. They can have private, state, or even independent insurance. Either way, this means that if you are employed in any of these 49 states, there is legislation in place to protect you as a worker whenever you are at your place of work. In Texas, although it is not required, many companies still opt into workers’ comp programs.
2. You Can Claim Even If You Are Partly at Fault
A surprising fact, but a fact nonetheless. You may think - or be led to think - that if an accident was partly your fault, you won’t be eligible for workers’ comp. This is not the case. The legislation says that even if you had played a part in the accident that caused your injury, you can still claim for workers’ compensation. Exceptions apply; for example, if you are found to have been under the influence of drugs or alcohol, you would likely not find yourself able to claim compensation.
3. The Claims Process Explained
When you are injured, you should make sure you follow all processes correctly. First, make sure your HR department is immediately made aware of the accident. Record everything properly, as this could be important when insurers assess your claim later on. After this, make sure you seek all the medical attention needed. Do not avoid professional medical help due to expenses, as this will all be covered by your claim.
After this, you should reach out to a lawyer. At this point, your lawyer will help you build the rest of the evidence needed to submit your claim, which will then be passed on to the workers’ insurance company. After this, you will likely receive an offer of a payout, at which point your lawyer can argue for more if they think you have been underpaid. These claims almost never end up in court, with insurance settlements bringing most claims to a happy end.
4. What Compensation Can Cover
This compensation is mainly designed to cover your losses or expenses due to an injury. In saying that, this means that any lost wages due to sickness, medical bills, or other expenses directly linked to the injury should be covered. For example, if you have to pay for private hospital transport ten times to seek treatment, this should all be covered. Likewise, if you lose six months of pay, this will be covered.
However, these claims can be more complex, as you can rightfully claim for mental health issues - such as not being able to work due to mental breakdown post-injury, or for personal physical damages - such as scars or deformation.
These four tips should help you in understanding the basic processes behind a workers’ compensation claim. If you think you are eligible, follow these steps and make sure you reach out to a specialist lawyer as soon as possible. If you deserve compensation, go out and get it!
Posted 2 weeks ago by Allen Brown