Injured at Work – If you are injured on the job, there are some things you need to do in order to protect your legal rights and get access to workers’ comp benefits.
File a Report
There are usually very short deadlines for you to file a report in order for your accident to be covered under workers’ comp laws. You should file the report for any accident that happened at work, regardless of whether or not you are injured. Even if you aren’t seriously injured from the accident, the report could help your employer implement safety measures that will prevent other injuries from happening in the future. Filing a report immediately after the accident can also protect you if symptoms from your injury don’t show up until weeks or months after your accident.
Consult a doctor
The next step is to see a doctor as soon as possible after an accident at work. If your injury is severe enough and warrants it, you should go to the emergency room. If you aren’t seriously injured, then ask your employer if you are required to see a certain doctor or if you can go to one of your choosing. If your employer has picked the doctor for you, but you aren’t happy with your visit, then you may still want to consider another doctor. You could be allowed to a second opinion. Even if workers’ comp doesn’t cover this second doctor visit, it could still be worth it for you to pay for the appointment yourself. Depending on how severe your injuries are, you could lose more in benefits if you didn’t get evaluated by a different doctor. If you currently have health insurance, the doctor’s visit could be covered by your own insurance.
Report Injuries as Soon as You Can
Your employer is supposed to file a workers’ comp claim with their insurance on your behalf, but they aren’t able to do this unless you report your injuries. If you did file an accident report but didn’t know you were injured at the time of the report then let your employer know once you discover the injury. Follow up to make sure that a claim is filed and know that you are entitled to a copy of the claim.
Consult with a Workers’ Comp Attorney
Before you file a claim, it’s good to speak with a lawyer at Sumwalt Anderson Law Firm. A consultation can help you determine which benefits you could be entitled to receive and give you some help with the process. If your injuries are severe and your case is complicated, lawyers can represent you throughout the process, so you are entitled to the benefits you deserve.
What You Should Know about Workers’ Compensation Claims
Laws in most every state require that employers have workers’ comp insurance. These laws also typically state that employees aren’t allowed to sue employers because of workplace injuries. However, this does mean that an employee doesn’t have to prove negligence caused the injury and the employee will still be compensated even if it was his or her own negligence that caused the injury. The exception to this rule about lawsuits is for cases that involve asbestos exposure. If you have been exposed and suffer health issues related to asbestos, then you may still be able to sue your employer. There are some cases where injuries aren’t going to be covered by workers’ comp. If an employee is using illegal drugs or intoxicated when the accident happened, then the injuries aren’t going to be covered. Some employees may have policies that require employees who are involved in accidents to do a drug test. Any injuries that happened during a commute or because of a workplace fight may also be excluded from the coverage.
What Are Your Rights, If Injured at Work?
Even though the laws can vary, there are a number of common legal rights you have after an injury at work. You have the precise to file a claim in workers’ comp court and the right to get medical treatment for your injuries. If you aren’t able to return to work because of temporary or permanent injuries, then you have the right to some disability compensation. If a doctor releases you for work, you then also have the right to go back to your job. If you disagree with the insurance company, your employer, or workers’ comp court then you also have the ability to appeal that decision. You have the right to be represented by a lawyer throughout the claim process.