When you are on the job and giving your employer good value for his money, you assume that he or she is protecting you from harm. A work accident that leaves you injured and unable to work for a while can be a major set-back, especially if you are the sole support for your family. We know that this is a painful situation and we can help.
Workers' compensation laws are designed to specify the benefits an employee can receive when injured on the job. These laws vary by state, so it is important to consult an experienced workers' compensation lawyer in your area if you have been injured at work.
Workers' compensation ensures that an injured employee will be financially compensated for medical bills and lost wages due to the injury. It acts as a substitute for litigation; therefore, your employer will be protected against law suits stemming from your injury.
This is a no-fault system. An injured employee receives payment for injuries regardless of who is to blame for the accident.
While workers' compensation prevents you from suing your employer, you may sometimes be able file a law suit against a third party who is responsible for your injury. For example, if you were injured as a result of faulty equipment, you may be able to sue the equipment manufacturer.
Types of injuries generally covered include:
- Pre-existing conditions made worse at work
- Injuries occurring during breaks, lunch hours, and work sponsored activities
- Diseases contracted by exposure to toxic chemicals
- Injuries sustained as a result of carrying out your normal work duties
Injuries generally not covered include:
- Injuries caused by horseplay
- Injuries caused while intoxicated
- Self-inflicted injuries
- Injuries caused while traveling to work or while running personal errands on break
Many insurance companies will try to deny workers' compensation claims, especially when they are related to a pre-existing injury. If you are injured at work, it is important to talk to a workers' compensation attorney who can help you receive the benefits you deserve.
If you have been injured at work:
- Report the injury to your employer immediately. Document everything in writing and save a copy for your records.
- Fill out a claim form. Your employer is required to give you a form as soon as you report your injury. He must notify his insurance company as soon as he has your form so that you can receive your benefits in a timely manner.
- File your claim as soon as possible. This helps prevent unnecessary delays in receiving your benefits.
- Contact a workers' compensation attorney to make sure you are not being denied services you are legally entitled to.