Workplace Injuries And Your Right To Seek Compensation
Being injured can place anyone’s life into chaos. Recovering physically and mentally can take time, and along with the heavy medical bills comes the potential for lost wages due to time missed at work. When that happens, it’s hard to make a total, complete recovery.
Those injured at work have a number of different options that could help offset those financial hurdles, but not everything is as clear-cut as most assume at first. Worker’s compensation isn’t always as simple as filling a claim and getting money. But taking a closer look at some things could help you understand more about your rights.
Worker’s Comp Basics
Any company that has 4 or more employees is required to carry worker’s compensation insurance – though construction companies must carry it even if they have a single employee. It’s important to note that worker’s comp is designed to cover accidents no matter who is at fault. Even if the employee is at fault, they will still be covered. To file a claim, employees need to take a couple of basic steps:
- Give notice of the incident within 30 days
- File a claim. This can be filed within 2 years, but the sooner it is filed the better. Additionally, claims can be filed with the insurance company, but if the employer carries its own insurance then claims are filed directly with the employer.
Compensation with worker’s comp will cover all medical care including rehab and long term medications, and will also provide two-thirds of your wages from the time lost during your injuries.
One of the key things that needs to be understood regarding on the job injuries is that in many instances, seeking additional compensation through a personal injury lawsuit isn’t possible. This is because worker’s comp is intended to cover all of the costs associated with an injury.
However, there are some instances where a lawsuit may be possible – and even needed. The first is when an employer fails to provide any worker’s compensation coverage – especially when they should be legally required to do so.
The other is when an employer acts in a way that directly puts employees in needless danger or increases the amount of risk they face without them having any idea of the risks that they are facing. For example:
- Safety issues that are known by the employer but aren’t addressed in any way.
- Engaging in activities that increase risk such as forcing employees to work in unsafe weather conditions
- Requiring employees to work in a way that is unsafe – forcing truck drivers to drive beyond the legal restrictions, for instance.
In short, if an employee is placed in an unsafe situation through the actions of their employer they could have the grounds to seek compensation.
The first step you should take when injured and unsure of your rights is to contact a personal injury lawyer. Even if you are filing a worker’s compensation claim, a good attorney can help ensure that you still get the fullest level of protection and that your rights are argued for properly. This ensures that you get all of the financial benefits that you’re entitled to and that you are able to move on from your injury as completely as possible.
Sometimes accidents are unavoidable. It’s important to know all of your rights and protect yourself if you’re hurt on the job, and talking to a personal injury lawyer can help. Our team has decades of experience in doing so. Contact us today for your free consultation and to learn more about your options.