Have you ever thought of the possibility of getting severely injured at work? Admit it; there has come a time that you’ve considered the likelihood of having injuries in your place of work. At some point, going over the idea that you’ll pay your medical bills but you’ll not be able to earn a living due to the injuries is extremely devastating. While coping with the injuries may be hard, there’s still so much you can do to get compensated for your losses – and that’s how Workers’ Compensation law works. Here’s what you need to know about worker compensation.
What is Workers’ Compensation in general?
Workers’ compensation is a publicly-sponsored insurance system that provides cash benefits and other medical care entitlements for workers who have been injured at work.
- While it allocates benefits to workers, it’s worth keeping in mind that only employers are required to pay for the insurance. As the law intends to protect the workers, they are not required to add to the cost of compensation.
- In the context of workers’ compensation, the determination of liability is of no importance. It means that the amount of compensation you’re going to receive doesn’t depend upon your carelessness and that of your employer. However, there’s a twist in the situation when your injury has found to be a result of intoxication from drugs or alcohol, and of your intention to harm yourself.
- However, the law doesn’t only protect the rights of the workers. By approving to receive workers’ compensation, you are duty-bound to agree to give up your right to bring legal action against your employer for negligence.
How to qualify for a Workers’ Compensation?
If you’ve suffered injuries or become ill because of your work, you can receive the benefits of workers’ compensation such as payments for medical expenses and lost wages. You only need to be eligible for you to be entitled to the compensation regardless of who is at fault for your injury. Usually, you can qualify for a workers’ compensation if you’ve satisfied the following conditions:
- You must be an active employee
- The employer you’re working for has workers’ compensation insurance.
- Your injury or illness must be work-related.
While the eligibility requirements are very primary, there are still special rules that you may need to take a look at. For instance, these rules apply for some categories of employees consisting of agricultural workers, domestic workers, casual employees and those who are placed by some agencies with an employer. That’s why try to check the category that you belong so that you’ll know exactly what to do with your compensation rights.
What are the Workers’ Compensation entitlements?
As mentioned earlier, workers’ compensation is designed to protect workers from the financial consequences of sustaining injuries or becoming ill in the workplace. Because of the losses you’ve experienced, the law affords financial security for you and your family. Even though the costs vary, workers’ compensation entitlements include:
- Payment for medical and rehabilitation expenses
- Replacement income as payment for lost earnings
- Compensation for permanent injuries
- Benefits given to survivors of workers who have been killed at work
- Other compensation benefits such as medical prescriptions and supplies, travel expenses and personal care allowance.
As much as you want to recover everything from workers’ compensation, it cannot be done because what the law provides is the financial losses incurred by the injured party. For instance, this type of insurance doesn’t apply to pain and suffering and other emotional damages.
What to know about the claims process?
The very moment you’ve sustained injuries or have developed an occupational disease signals the beginning of filing for a workers’ compensation claim. In these types of situations, you may start working on your claim’s process through the following actions:
- You seek the necessary medical attention. The doctor is required to submit their medical report as a supporting document for your claim.
- Once you’ve sought medical treatment, don’t forget to notify your supervisor about the accident and state how it happened.
- You report the accident to your employer in writing as soon as possible but not later than 30 days from the time you’ve suffered an injury.
- The employer once notified, reports the injury to the Workers’ Compensation Board and the insurance company.
- After the receipt of the employer’s notification, the insurer gives the injured worker a written statement of their legal rights. Also, at this time, the insurer deals with the claim and once approved, they begin paying your benefits. However, if the application is being disputed, the insurer must inform the Board and state the reason for the denial.
What is the effect of filing a workers’ compensation claim?
Apart from receiving compensation benefits for the injuries incurred at work, there are still underlying effects that you should be aware.
- Keep in mind, filing a workers’ compensation claim indicates a waiver of your right to sue your employer for the injuries they’ve caused you as a result of negligence.
- However, if you decide to take legal action in court against your employer, you should make sure that you understand the outcome because by doing so, you may not be able to recover the potential benefits granted to you by law.
- In case of employer’s retaliation due to the filing of the claim, always take note that most states consider it as a violation of the law. That’s why it’s essential to report your employer to the local workers’ compensation office for immediate action.
When do you need legal representation?
While accidents arising from work are covered by the workers’ compensation insurance, it can be the other way around if your employer disputes your claim. To remedy this kind of situation, you may consider seeking legal help from an experienced attorney.
Like other citizens, you also deserve to be protected by law. Considering numerous cases of accidents occurring at work, taking a look at this work compensation quick guide can help you navigate your situation. By understanding the information provided in this article, we hope we’re able to offer valuable ideas as to how essential workers’ compensation law is for workers.
If you’ve been injured in your place of work, you can click here to know more about workers’ compensation.
Dianna Charles is a promising young law enthusiast that hopes to bring her youthful spirit to her field. She tries to add a refreshing modern take to topics on the legal world that people can learn from. Dianna enjoys her free time with friends and family, and loves to cook for them.