According to the Wikipedia, workers compensation is a type of insurance that provides financial aid and medical benefits to injured workers. The goal of this law is to establish a win-win situation: employers do not get suited, and employees get compensation for the damage they endured.
While most countries have a single law, the U.S. laws tend to vary from state to state, thus confusing a lot of Americans. The goal of this article is to explain and debunk 8 Common Misconceptions About Workers Compensation Law.
Claims Are Not Worth Filing
There is this idea floating around that the compensation claims are a waste of time, which is absurd. Regardless of the severity of your injury, you should at least research before you make a final decision.
If you have been injured in your workplace, file your claim because there might be some additional benefits even if you initially didn’t know about them.
If It Is Your Fault, You Won’t Receive Compensation
Here’s the problem: what classifies as your fault? Unless you intentionally broke your leg, you will receive some level of compensation. The truth is, your employee probably doesn’t want a lawsuit, for numerous reasons.
Accidences happen all the time, and no matter whose fault it is, you should seek compensation because it is your right to request one.
You Are Not Eligible If Accidence Occurs Outside Workplace
This is another false statement. One HuffPost article argues that the system defines injury as immediate happening that requires quick or prompt medical care and evaluation. As you can see, it doesn’t say anything about the workplace. However, it has to be work-related.
Visiting clients, driving to meetings, attending conferences or anything similar counts. Why? Well, it is work-related, not a personal obligation.
Your Employee Will Take Care of Everything
While your employee smiles and greets you every time you come to work, that doesn’t mean he will gladly file a compensation claim for you. After all, you shouldn’t be putting your faith into anyone’s hand but your own in these situations.
Make sure that you file a claim as soon as the accidence occurs and that you visit the doctor when you submit it. The faster you act, the stronger your case will be no matter whose “fault” it is.
Independent Contractors Are Not Eligible
This statement used to be valid, back in the days when most people had a long-term contract with their employee. But the situation has changed with the rise of independent contractors and independent worker jobs.
While independent contractors usually don’t have the right to file for compensation, you should research if you are self-employed contractors. If still unsure, discuss your options with your lawyer.
Your Employee May Fire You
Surprisingly enough, a lot of workers don’t file for compensation because they are afraid of losing their job. These fears are both rational and irrational at the same time. Even if your employee threatens to fire you, he can’t do that because that would only make things worse.
If your employer has no legal foundation for firing you, he can’t do it because the law won’t allow it. If you are a lousy worker and your employer fires you, that’s a different story. But if he discharges you just because you claimed what is rightfully yours, then you can sue him for workers misconduct.
You Won’t Get Medical Care If Not Insured
The law says that if you experience an injury at work, you should get the medical care you deserve. Visit ER or doctor and doctors will charge the Workers’ Compensation for your treatment. Moreover, it is the first thing you should (visit a doctor after you file a claim) to make a stronger case.
The better memory of the incident you have the bigger the chance that you will get compensated for your troubles. The doctor will write down everything, and you will have the paperwork ready for your case.
I Should Give Up If The Court Deny My Case
The last on the list is the idea that you should give up if your case were denied, which is false. If denied you have the right to file an appeal and ask that the court carefully examines your case again. If you believe you have compelling evidence, you will defend it in front of the commission.
No matter what the case is, do as much research as you can and ask your attorney for advice since the laws vary from state to state and are almost always unique, meaning that the law will sometimes be interpreted in different ways, often in your favor.