You show up at your job site every day prepared to work hard and earn the money that they’re paying you. This country prides itself on hard-working people such as yourself!
However, there are certain occasions where hard-workers catch a bad break and get injured on the job. What’s worse is when it’s not their fault. The negligence of someone else led to your injury.
What follows that injury is a life-altering road to recovery which, if not properly funded, can lead to disaster for your finances.
Here is a description of employee’s rights under workers’ compensation and what that looks like for your specific situation.
1. The Right to File a Claim
First and foremost, your employers are required by state law to have some form of workers’ compensation. You can look up information on each state’s requirements for specific details on each.
If your employer doesn’t have any, they are in line with serious fines. That’s not your concern, you need to focus on the betterment and financial stability of you and your family.
Now then, one of the main ideas of workers’ compensation is to try and protect the relationship between you and your employer.
Since you’ll mainly be attempting to reach a settlement with your employers’ insurance company, it takes them almost completely out of the equation. That’s a good thing!
You merely need to notify your employer of your intent to file a claim, so that they can hand you the necessary paperwork to file a claim with their workers’ comp insurance provider.
2. The Right to Be Legally Represented
After you’ve suffered a personal injury at work, your entire world will feel like it’s spinning around you. The next decisions you make are crucial to both your health and your workers’ compensation case.
One of the most important things to do is to find a trusted lawyer to represent you during your case.
Think about it: without a lawyer, you’ll be going up against a professional workers’ compensation provider and their team to reach a settlement.
Their sole job is to try and get you to settle for as low as possible. They have experience in their careers to convince you to settle without realizing how much you are actually entitled to.
Meanwhile, teaming up with a lawyer shows the insurance agency that you’re in it for the long haul. You and your attorney are prepared to wait it out until you receive the exact settlement amount that you’re expecting.
Make sure that the personal injury lawyer you select has expertise in personal injury cases. You need someone with the experience and know-how to see your case through to the end.
3. The Right to Seek Medical Attention
Don’t get it twisted… this is the most important step that you need to take when you undergo a work-related injury. Your health is the number one concern.
There are several reasons why it’s crucial that you seek medical attention right away.
For one, it plays a huge role in your case. If you didn’t immediately try and get your injury tended to, the insurance company will use it as leverage against you. They’ll claim that it shows your injury isn’t as severe as you claim it to be.
Secondly, not seeking medical treatment right away could lead to injury worsening and becoming a longterm injury. What could have been treated with a prompt visit to the doctor will turn into a disability you’ll deal with for the rest of your life.
Many people make the mistake of avoiding medical treatment because of the expenses that come with it.
They think that, while the workers’ comp settlement will eventually pay for it, there’s no way to deal with it in the short term. Not true! There are options, such as pre-settlement loans, that can provide financial relief until your case is settled.
Remember, seek out a doctor and follow every instruction that they give you to a “T” so that you can start your road to recovery.
4. The Right to Find Who’s Negligent
There’s a common misconception in the world that all work-related injuries are either the fault of the employee or the employee.
That couldn’t be further from the truth. There are several circumstances in which a third-party may be at fault for your injury, not your employer.
For example, say you’re injured while operating a machine on a job site. Then you and your attorney come to the conclusion that your injury wasn’t your employer’s fault, it was the manufacturer’s negligence that got you injured.
Perhaps the machine was faulty and was sold to your employer anyways, even though the manufacturer was aware of the risks.
Maybe the machine didn’t have proper warning instructions to prevent you from using the machine a certain way that led to your injury.
Regardless of who’s at fault, you as the injured employee have a right to know and pursue legal action against those who were negligent. You and your trusted attorney can gather evidence to support your case.
Employee’s Rights Under Workers’ Compensation: Know Them All
As a working man or woman, it’s vital that you understand all of the employee’s rights under workers’ compensation that are in place to protect you.
Not knowing your rights could lead to you paying for tens of thousands of dollars in medical expenses, rather than the person or company who’s at fault.
Be sure to read our other articles that pertain to both this topic and other topics that are just like it.