This content is for informational purposes only and is not intended to provide legal advice.
No matter what industry you work in or how safe your workplace appears to be, you are always at risk of suffering a work-related injury. After getting injured on the job, you will probably need money to pay for your medical expenses. Not only that, but you’ll also need financial help to support your household during your recovery, given that you won’t receive a paycheck until you’re able to return to work. Luckily, you can opt for workers’ compensation benefits to cover these expenses during this challenging time.
Nevertheless, workers’ compensation is many employees’ biggest nightmare. You may be reluctant to file a claim for fear that it will be denied or that your employer will retaliate against you for applying for these benefits. However, these concerns stem from misconceptions that have been widespread about the process. The truth is that the law usually works in your favor to help you obtain the money you need to get back on your feet and return to work.
Here are 7 key things every injured employee should know about workers’ compensation. After clearing up your doubts, you will be prepared to face the process properly and get the compensation you deserve.
You must report your injury right away.
A common mistake many employees make after a work-related injury is not reporting the incident right after it occurs. With every second you go without reporting your injury, you are losing valuable time that may be crucial in determining the outcome of your claim. Furthermore, if you wait too long, you may lose the right to receive any type of compensation.
In some states, such as California, you will have up to one year after the injury to file a claim. However, if you wait more than a few days to file your claim. In that case, the insurance company may insinuate that your injury had nothing to do with work or that the damages were not severe, all to avoid paying you the compensation you deserve.
Worker’s comp law varies from state to state.
Another factor to keep in mind is that workers’ compensation law often varies significantly from state to state. For example, some states give employers the authority to refer their employees to specific doctors for treatment following their work injury. Meanwhile, other states provide the injured employee the freedom to choose their own treating physician.
You should research the details of the workers’ compensation law in your state before facing the process. Otherwise, you may only be aware of information that might only be relevant to workers in other states.
You should go to the doctor ASAP.
Along with reporting your injury, you should also see a doctor as soon as possible after the incident. The main reason you should see a doctor quickly is to take care of your health. If your injury is treated promptly, you will have a better chance of a speedy recovery.
On the other hand, your treating physician will issue a medical report detailing the extent of your injuries and the treatment you need. This report will be vital to obtaining fair compensation.
You don’t have to prove your employer’s fault.
If you are worried about having to prove that your employer’s negligence caused your injury, don’t be. Workers’ compensation is a no-fault system, which means that you will be eligible for compensation even if you caused your injuries.
However, if you apply for workers’ compensation benefits, you will waive the possibility of filing a personal injury claim against your employer. If you want to know the best option for your case, consider consulting with a local workers’ compensation attorney.
It’s illegal for your employer to retaliate.
In all states, it is illegal for your employer to retaliate against you in any way just for filing a workers’ compensation claim. It is considered retaliation to be fired from your job, wage cuts, demotions, or any unjustified degradation of your working conditions.
This is often one of the main concerns employees have after a work injury. However, you will not have to worry about these types of consequences after filing your claim.
Working with an attorney might be a great idea.
Dealing with a workers’ compensation claim on your own can be difficult and frustrating. However, it doesn’t have to be this way. You could work with a workers’ compensation attorney, such as C&B Law Group, to considerably increase your claim’s chances of success.
The attorney will help you gather the evidence necessary to build a strong case, analyze the extent of your injuries, determine the actual value of your case, and aggressively negotiate on your behalf so that you receive the maximum possible compensation for your case.
On the other hand, if your claim was wrongfully denied, or you suspect that the insurance company is not offering you a reasonable settlement, then you should contact an attorney to protect your rights.
Plus, you don’t have to pay your attorney upfront
Another common concern that many employees share is having to pay high fees if they work with a workers’ compensation attorney. However, most workers’ compensation lawyers work on a contingency fee basis. This means that you will only have to pay them a percentage after receiving the compensation you deserve.
This percentage usually ranges from 10% to 30%, depending on state laws and the complexity of the case.