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Workers’ Compensation

Workers’ Compensation

Workers' Compensation

Workers Compensation Lawyers

Workers’ Compensation Claims for Injuries Sustained on the Job.

If you have been injured at work, the first thing you need to think about is whether you qualify for workers’ compensation.

Workers’ compensation insurance was designed to help both employees, as well as employers. Previously, work injuries were treated just like any other personal injury; you were allowed to file a lawsuit against your employer in order to seek 100% of your damages related to the injury – but you often had to deal with a long drawn-out battle before you could recover any money. With workers’ compensation, your medical expenses are covered and in many circumstances you’re able to recover a portion of your lost wages… but you’re barred from filing a lawsuit against your employer under almost all circumstances related to the accident.

One of the most fundamental things to remember about workers’ compensation is the importance of reporting your work injury in a timely manner. Even if you don’t think you have an injury that requires medical care, you should still report any injury (or potential injury) to your employer in case something comes up later. For instance, you could have a slip and fall incident due to a premises liability issue such as debris on the floor. At first you think you’re fine, but over the next few days you begin to notice you have growing pain in your back, legs, or other areas that were affected when you fell. In fact, sometimes injuries can take months to show up and if you failed to report the incident initially, there is a good chance that your workers’ compensation claim will be denied.

Do I Need an Attorney?

While workers’ compensation is a no-fault system (meaning it generally doesn’t matter if the injury was caused by your own carelessness or that of your employer), you should be aware that not all workers’ comp claims are approved. In order to give yourself the best chance at recovering the compensation you’re owed, your best bet would be to discuss the facts of your case with an attorney in your state.

An attorney can explain exactly what to expect, as well as any additional legal options that may be available to you. For instance, if your injury was caused by a defective piece of machinery or equipment, you may be able to still file a product liability claim against the manufacturer. If your state allows employers to opt out of workers compensation insurance, you may be allowed to file a lawsuit and seek 100% of your actual damages (instead of just a portion of your losses through a work comp claim).

Oftentimes, employers who opt out of workers’ comp will purchase an insurance policy designed to LOOK like workers’ comp in order to trick employees into thinking they cannot sue. This is why it’s important to check with your state’s department of insurance to make 100% sure that your employer subscribes to the official, state-run workers’ comp system. Many attorneys can and will do this for you during your initial consultation.

Are you concerned by the cost of hiring a workers’ compensation lawyer? Most all work comp attorneys take these cases on contingency. That means that you’re never charged anything up-front – your attorney will only recover a percentage of the total recovery.

Are All On-the-Job Injuries Covered?

While the majority of injuries that occur on the job do fall under workers’ compensation, there are some cases in which those injuries may not be covered. Incidents that may result in the employer’s failure to honor a workers’ compensation claim can include the following:

  • The employee was intoxicated or using illegal drugs at the time of the injury
  • Injuries that were self-inflicted (this includes injuries that result because an employee started a fight)
  • Injuries that occurred during the commission of a serious crime
  • Injuries that occurred when the employee was not on the job
  • Any injury that occurred because the employee failed to follow company policy

The Approval Process

You need to follow the procedure your company has in place for workers’ compensation claims. In many cases this means you must submit a claim within 48 hours. Some companies will require an employee to immediately go to an emergency room or urgent care center, though a company with an on-site medical team may forego this in favor of using their own resources.

Unfortunately, the process is not an easy one and can be very time-consuming and frustrating for a victim recovering from a serious injury. The important thing is to make sure you have all the facts surrounding your injury and have the supporting documentation. Hiring a workers’ compensation lawyer can make this process much easier since the average employee may not be aware of what the important facts of his or her case may be.

The bottom line is that if you have been injured at work, speaking to an attorney can be very beneficial to you and your family. We’re here to advocate on the behalf of victims. Please call 1-800-ATTORNEY and speak with us today.

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