Workers’ Compensation Overview
Workers’ compensation is an insurance program that is mandated by the state. It provides certain benefits to employees who have suffered job-related injuries or illnesses. Individual states implement their own laws and general programs regarding workers’ compensation. Employees who work for the federal government may also benefit from a separate, specific workers’ comp program designed for federal employees.
Am I Covered By Workers’ Compensation? How To Know?
The discovery process to learn if you are actually covered by workers’ compensation can be involved and sometimes difficult. However, two main factors will generally determine one’s status and they are as follows: whether you are determined to be an employee, and whether your injury occurred directly as a result of your current employment. But demonstrable proof of either does not necessarily guarantee coverage. Every state has their own unique set of rules that govern these decisions and the awarding of compensation, and some employees may not be covered at all depending on certain situations or type of employment. It is best to get a full understanding of your state’s individual laws before an accident happens, so you will be better prepared if you do suffer an injury. It is important to note, intentional injuries and situations in which a worker is intoxicated on the job, may not be covered by workers’ compensation at all. If you have questions or are unsure, contact an experienced workers’ compensation attorney, and she or he can certainly advise you on your rights in these matters.
Steps To Follow If Injured On The Job
Always report all accidents to your employer or immediate supervisor as soon as possible. Every state sets its reporting time requirements, and a claim could certainly be denied if the accident is not reported to the employer within the required time period set by your state. Report all workplace accidents to your employer, even if you do not feel that you have truly suffered an injury. Injuries can be subtle, and you may not be aware that you have suffered an injury until later; therefore it is crucial that you report accidents immediately to have them recorded. And report any injuries as soon as you first notice them.
What If My Work-Related Illness Or Injury Is Not The Result Of An Accident? Am I Still Covered?
Workers’ compensation covers all work-related injuries, including nonaccident, repetitive motion type injuries. Many people suffer from work-related carpal tunnel syndrome, and this would be an example of a covered repetitive motion injury. It is certainly possible for workers to develop many types of illnesses related to their jobs, such as stress-related digestive disorders, carbon monoxide poisoning or breathing problems from exposure to car exhaust on the job, and much more. Many jobs are potentially hazardous, and while some may suffer as a result, many others experience no problems at all.
The Accident Was My Fault. Am I Still Eligible For Workers’ Compensation Benefits?
Workers’ compensation is designed to provide benefits to an injured worker without the need to find who is at fault for the accident. But a worker might not receive benefits in every injury case. As mentioned above, intentional injuries and situations in which a worker is intoxicated on the job may not be covered by workers’ compensation at all.
What Types Of Benefits Might Be Offered Through Workers’ Compensation?
The benefits offered can vary as all states make their own determinations, and injury type and the extent or severity of the injury may be factored into decisions as well. Temporary disability benefits, which are often approximately two-thirds of your regular wage earnings, may be extended to you if your injury lasts more than a set minimum number of days. Medical costs for treatment are typically paid for, as long as they are necessary. Additional benefits such as vocational rehabilitation may be offered as well to enable a worker to rejoin their work team or to train for a new job altogether.
Should I Consult With An Attorney Regarding My Workers’ Compensation Claim?
The duration or severity of your injury or illness may influence your decision as to whether you need or want assistance from an attorney regarding your workers’ compensation claim. It is important to keep in mind, severity of injury and what you have on the line are often connected, meaning if your injury is severe you may have a lot at risk and may need to be certain your claim is handled perfectly. Severe, long-term and permanent injuries quite possibly warrant an attorney’s experience in order to be certain that you receive the maximum benefits that you deserve.