Workers’ Compensation Benefits: the Basics

Work related injuries are common and often misunderstood. In general, a workplace injury entitles an employee to workers compensation benefits. Sometimes substantial, workers’ comp benefits help employees recover from their losses and are essential to injury recovery.

Curious about whether you have a claim?

It is worth looking for an experienced workers’ compensation attorney near you. An attorney will ensure the correct filing of your workers’ comp claim. In addition, they will evaluate other strategies so that you can secure the maximum possible compensation.

CALL 888-943-0190 TODAY to find an Injury Lawyer Near Me.

For now, let’s explore some basics.

What Are Workers’ Compensation Benefits?

Workers’ compensation benefits act as a compromise solution for job-related injuries. In the event of a work injury, employees receive guaranteed benefits, and employers potentially avoid an expensive workers compensation lawsuit.

Injuries covered under workers’ comp include those sustained within the course and scope of employment. In other words, the injury must have happened during a job-related duty.

If you were injured in a car accident while commuting home from work, that would likely not qualify for benefits.

How Does Workmans Comp Work?

If you receive an injury on the job, inform your employer immediately. Stay calm. If you cannot directly notify your employer, have a co-worker notify your boss instead. Lastly, don’t delay in seeking treatment. To ensure your injuries receive treatment and that their documentation exists, obtain medical attention as soon as possible.

It is worth noting that workers comp falls under Strict Liability Laws, meaning you do not have to prove your employer was negligent. However, you must prove that you were injured and that this injury occurred during your employment. That gives you a lot of negotiation leverage for securing compensation.

What Losses Does Workers’ Compensation Cover?

As you move forward with the workers’ compensation process, there are several limitations that you should consider. Among these is that workers’ comp benefits may not cover all your losses.

Some losses, like pain and suffering associated with your injuries, are not covered by worker’s comp benefits. To obtain compensation for these losses, you will have to pursue an alternative legal strategy. Suppose you have substantial losses not covered by workers’ comp benefits. In that case, your attorney may rightfully encourage you to pursue a traditional lawsuit.

What Do Workers’ Compensation Benefits Cover?

Coverage may include things such as:

  • Medical care
  • Permanent disability
  • Temporary disability
  • Vocational rehabilitation
  • Wage loss benefits
  • Death benefits
  • And more

Typically, workers’ comp benefits end when you return to work. Every state is different, so make sure to discuss the particulars with an experienced workers’ compensation attorney near you.

Which Workers are Qualified to Receive Workers’ Compensation Benefits?

Workers compensation laws require most employers to carry workers comp insurance. Despite having coverage, not every injured worker is qualified to claim benefits.

There are many eligibility requirements, so before you ask how workers’ compensation works, consider the following:

  1. Your employer must have workers’ compensation insurance.
  2. You must be a covered worker; independent contractors are not entitled to workers’ comp benefits.
  3. Your injury or illness must link to a job-related accident.
  4. You must file a claim within the applicable statute of limitations deadline. Time is of the essence.

One of the most common points of contention in workers’ comp disputes is how a worker is classified. If you are a covered worker, you may be entitled to compensation. However, if you are misclassified as an independent contractor or volunteer when you are, in fact, an employee, you may wrongfully lose access to essential workers’ comp benefits.

Misclassification is a serious issue worth disputing, but you’ll want to secure the assistance of a qualified attorney for guidance.

Retaliation in the Workplace

In some workers’ comp cases, the employer doesn’t want their insurance premiums to increase, so they’ll discourage you from filing a claim. If you file a workers’ compensation claim, they will retaliate against you.

Retaliation can take many forms, such as firing or passing you over for a promotion, pay raise, or refusing to pay out a bonus. However, any adverse action your employer takes against you in the context of employment qualifies as retaliation.

Always remember: Retaliation in the workplace is illegal.

Contact an experienced retaliation lawyer today. CALL 888-943-0190

If you have filed a workers’ comp claim, your employer cannot fire or retaliate against you. If your employer retaliated against you, you would have an independent claim for damages against them, leading to additional compensation.

Real Take: My Boss Let Me Go, What Should I do?

Retaliation disputes can be complex, so do not move forward alone. Contact a work injury lawyer who has experience dealing with the many problems associated with work injuries as soon as possible.

When Does Workers’ Compensation Pay Out?

Injured workers often wonder how long they wait until a claim is paid. After all, they may sink under the weight of unpaid bills and costs.

Claim payment schedules can vary from case to case and state to state. As a general rule, however, benefits are typically paid within 21 days of an employee informing their employer of the injury or illness.

Many factors can affect the payment schedule. Whether you receive a payout depends on whether your claim was approved or denied. Remember that if your claim was denied, you could challenge the denial with the help of an experienced workers compensation attorney.

Find a Workers’ Compensation Attorney in Your Area Today

If you have a job injury, it is essential to contact an experienced local work injury attorney as soon as possible.

Here at 1-800-THE-LAW2, we maintain an extensive network of work injury lawyers experienced handling workers’ compensation disputes. To learn more about filing a workers’ compensation claim, or to find a workers’ compensation attorney near me, CALL 888-943-0190 to connect with a local attorney.

workers compensation benefits, a guide for those injured at work

Why It’s Important to Report Accidents at Work

According to Health and Safety Executive Statistics from 2013, 1.1 million workers suffered from an illness they believed was caused or made worse by their workplace. Getting hurt or sick on the job can cause a wide range physical and emotional stress. While some employees have no issues reporting accidents that happen at work, some reports show that up to two-thirds of work-related injuries and illnesses go unreported.

Common reasons for not reporting workplace accidents and illnesses include fear of being fired, fear that the boss will no longer want to consider the employee for promotions, fear of harassment, not wanting to complete the paperwork and process of filing a claim because it seems too complicated or too technical, etc. While these reasons are all understandable, they can have consequences in the future.

The longer an employee fails to report an illness or injury, the less time they will have to file a claim. States require both employees and employers to report accidents within a specific timeframe. The risk of not reporting early is that the injury will persist and worsen. When employees can no longer stand the pain, or cannot afford to pay for the treatment on their own, it may be too late to claim for work or medical expenses.

The employer may also face negative consequences in the long-term. For example, not reporting injuries may result in higher premiums and audits. Also, if the accident is an OSHA reportable event, the employer may have to pay fines and face other penalties.

Best practice for notifying an employer is that is should be done as soon as possible, although some states give employees up to 90 days after an injury or illness occurred to report it. In extreme cases that result in death, the dependents of the worker, or their parents if they have no dependents, are given up to two years after the death date to file a workers’ comp claim.

Employers may feel that reporting accidents is not in their best interest. However, companies that value their workers and workplace safety know that early reporting and intervention has some upsides. These include cutting down on the health costs and legal fees related to workers’ comp, and the ability to improve workplace safety as well as safety programs.

If you are injured at work, inform your supervisor immediately – in writing, if possible. This will start the process towards receiving workers’ comp. This does not mean you are suing the company, but rather requesting benefits for your injury or illness. Under FECA (Federal Employees’ Compensation Act), workers may initially select any qualified doctor to treat them, although there are some restrictions when it comes to the use of chiropractors.

If your employer does not file a claim immediately after you have notified them, it may be best to consult with a workers’ comp lawyer. Your attorney will work on your behalf to ensure you are treated fairly under the law. Having a lawyer to represent you signals that you are serious about the process.