How well do you understand the process of workers’ compensation? Make sure you know these important facts on workers’ compensation claims.
As a worker or employee of your company, you have certain rights that you may not be entirely aware of.
Even if you’re aware of certain rights that you have, it’s just as crucial that you understand what they are and how they can benefit you.
One such right is your right to workers’ compensation if you were to sustain an injury on the job. That injury could prove to be a setback for you and your family, so you’ll want to have an understanding of workers’ compensation claims.
Here are several basic facts about workers’ compensation that you need to know as a member of the workforce.
1. It’s the Law
There are certain benefits and types of insurance that an employer (your company) can choose whether to offer or not offer to its employees. Worker’s compensation is not one of them.
All employers are required to carry workers’ compensation by law in an attempt to protect the workers and their families.
However, the degree of coverage depends on each state. Certain states have different factors and levels of their workers’ compensation.
Things could vary by the state such as the types of injuries that are and are not covered, what employees are covered, the timeframe an employee has to file a claim, etc.
Each state also has certain limitations on policy amounts (both minimums and maximums). From there, the company can either decide to insure with an insurance company by themselves or get involved in the state’s workers’ compensation program.
Both the state and your employer are trying to protect you to their fullest capabilities. You should take the time to learn the state workers’ comp regulations wherever your company calls home.
2. You Don’t Have to Prove Your Employer Is at Fault
One fact about workers’ compensation claims that many people don’t realize is having to or not having to prove your employer is guilty.
It puts a strain on many people when they’re faced with filing or not filing a claim. If they love the company they work for, they don’t want the employer to suffer.
Not to worry; You don’t need to prove that your employer is responsible in order to receive compensation for the injury you sustained.
In fact, workers’ compensation is what’s called “no-fault insurance”. That means that it’s meant to protect you from things like medical expenses and missing out on work regardless of who was at fault.
The focal point of workers’ comp is to make sure you and your family’s future isn’t compromised by the severity of your injury.
All you need to do is prove that the injury you sustained was at work and that you were using best practices when the accident happened.
Unsure how to go about doing that? No problem, hire a trustworthy attorney with years of workers’ comp experience to help you build your case.
3. It Covers Longterm Effects as Well
As you go throughout your work, there may be some injuries or illnesses that you accrue after years of doing the job that you do.
For example, if your job involves typing for a majority of the day, you may develop carpal tunnel syndrome over time. If you work in a factory, you may develop respiratory complications from breathing in harmful fumes.
Whatever the case may be, workers’ compensation also applies to those longterm injuries you may have.
Building that claim can be a bit tricky, so you’ll want to have an attorney on your side to compile evidence.
Some of the evidence you’ll need for a longterm injury will contain more research and studies by professionals, rather than gathering photos and witnesses for an accident that happened.
Because of that, your attorney will reach out to their network and find experts that can attest to the longterm side effects of your job.
4. You May Receive More Compensation Than Money
Many people are under the impression that workers’ compensation only comes as a return in monetary form. While that is certainly a big part of it, there are other forms of compensation that certain states offer.
If your injury is causing you to miss out on work for the foreseeable future, thus putting you and your family in danger, it will also help with what is called vocational rehabilitation.
Voc Rehab is a program that helps you to keep your current job. if you’re no longer able to perform that job due to your injury, they will help you find another career you can succeed at.
Almost every state carries a vocational rehabilitation program to protect you. This proves that even when your injury seems detrimental to your future, workers’ compensation has options for you.
In situations like that, money isn’t enough. You also need proper education and training for a job you can succeed in with your life’s new normal.
5. You May Still Be Able to Sue Your Employer
One of the main goals of workers’ compensation is to try and mend the relationship between an injured employee and their employer. However, there are certain instances where the employee feels their company is primarily at fault for their injury.
For example, an employer may have demanded the employee perform a task that was beyond the employee’s typical job duties. If the employee never received training for that task, they may severely hurt themselves.
In instances like that, the employee may want to sue the company for its negligence being the main reason for the incident occurring.
That’s why it’s important to get with an attorney when applying for workers’ compensation. They can guide you through all of your options after hearing out your unique situation.
Whether that’s filing for workers’ comp or pursuing further legal action against the employer, your attorney will walk you through it.
6. Workers’ Compensation Fraud
While many hard-working employees and companies out there will only use workers’ compensation in dire need, there are those out there that will try to take advantage.
An employee may do so by taking pre-existing injuries and setting up a scenario at their job in which that injury occurred. They might also lie about the severity of the injury, making it out to be worse than it actually is.
Meanwhile, an employer may try to push the employee to sweep their injuries under the rug or perform a fraudulent workers’ comp case.
The penalty of being caught can wind up in serving jail time or five-figured monetary penalties… yikes!
As long as you’re honest and upfront about your injury, you have nothing to worry about.
Don’t be overwhelmed by the risk of employer fraud, your attorney has been trained to identify traces of fraudulent activities. If it’s happening in your case, they’ll sniff it out.
7. The Employer Won’t Bring the Hammer down on You for It
Many employees also fear that their company will fire them in response to them filing a workers’ compensation claim.
However, there are strict laws in place that protect you from such a situation. Your company can’t fire you or react to you filing a workers’ comp claim in any way.
There’s zero tolerance for employer discrimination that relates to worker’s comp situations. You have nothing to fear, you and your attorney are only seeking compensation for the injury you sustained.
However, even if you’re claiming the company at fault for your injury, it won’t cost you your job to do so.
Make sure you’re filing the workers’ comp claim within a 30 to 90-day window and filling out all the necessary paperwork to do so. Find yourself an attorney and start gathering evidence to support your claim.
Your company will understand that your filing of a workers’ compensation claim is merely an act to protect you and your family’s financial situation.
No employer of integrity will take your filing as a personal attack and seek revenge against you for it.
Don’t Take Workers’ Compensation Claims Lightly: Get an Attorney on Your Side
Now that you have a basic understanding of workers’ compensation claims, it’s time to file for the compensation that you deserve.
However, you shouldn’t do so without doing proper research to make sure you qualify. If you do, then join forces with a workers’ compensation attorney to receive the maximum return that you deserve.
Be sure to read this article on the types of injuries that qualify for workers’ compensation to start your research.
For more inquiries, please reach out via our contact page and we’ll be happy to schedule a free consultation with you.