Monthly Archives: February 2015

Injured on the Job? What You Must Know About Your Rights

Hurt On The Job

Injured on the Job? What You Must Know About Your Rights

Whether you work in an industry where you must be constantly on the lookout for hazardous conditions and equipment or you are employed within an office atmosphere that appears to be perfectly safe, thousands of people just like you are injured on the job each year. While it makes sense that you are more likely to become injured if your everyday job duties include being around heavy machinery, noxious chemicals or other risky surroundings, even if you work in what appears to be the most benign office environment, the process is the same if you are injured on the job. Your quick, level-headed and prompt action will help ensure that your rights are protected.

First Things First

If you have sustained on injury while you were performing your job duties, you must immediately take the necessary steps to protect both your long- and short-term health. Even if you do not think that your injuries warranted doing so, you should always seek the advice of a trained medical professional. Not only will doing so allow you to get the necessary care to help minimize the effects of your injury, it will provide a valuable timeline — as well as professional knowledge — should you need to go to court to collect damages.

Time is Money

In no other aspect of life is this phrase more poignant then when you have been injured while on the job. If you sustained an injury of some type — whether it is physical, emotional or something else — you must report it as soon as possible. The reasons for doing so are two-prong. Firstly, the quicker you obtain medical care, the more rapidly you can be on the road to recovery. Secondly, nearly all states have a statue of limitations that restricts the responsibility of your employer if you do not report the incident immediately. In many cases, an injury must be reported within 30 days of occurrence in order for your employer to be held responsible.

File a Claim

Every state in the United States has specific laws on their books pertaining to the rights of workers. In order to make a record of your injury — as well as collection of the benefits that are rightfully yours — you must file a claim with the proper agency. Your employer should provide this information for you in order to make the process easier.

If, however, you discover that your employer is being uncooperative about the matter, you can schedule a consultation with an attorney who is well-versed in the area of worker’s rights within your state. By doing so, you will have someone on your side who can give you solid advice while also helping you navigate the system.

Workers Compensation

Workers Compensation

Accidents and injuries sustained on the job is a common occurrence. Most employers are required to carry workers compensation insurance, but knowing the protections under the law can assist in getting the help you need.

What is Workers Compensation?

Workers compensation is a form of insurance designed to cover work-related injuries sustained on or off the premises. There are three main areas of workers compensation, which include personal injuries, auto accidents and catastrophic injuries. Every employee operating in a business capacity should be covered by this insurance, but quite a few companies have neglected to have a policy in place or have excluded certain jobs.

What does Workers Compensation cover?

Workers compensation benefits vary depending on the injury. Some of the benefits available include:

  • Medical bills and testing
  • Disability payments for extended injuries
  • Lost wages
  • Retraining
  • Rehabilitation and physical therapy
  • Doctor’s visits
  • Hospitalization
  • Prescriptions
  • Prostheses
  • Mileage reimbursement

All benefits are calculated based on the injury, illness, and its severity. Benefit entitlements and amounts vary based on temporary, partial or permanent damage or injury sustained by the employee.

Common workplace accidents

There are a number of accidents that can occur, but there are four specific instances that have been designated the Fatal Four by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). These four accidents are: being struck by an object, slip and fall, being caught in or between objects, and electrocution.

How does the process work?

Once an employee gets injured on the job in any type of accident, a claim with the company should be filed within thirty days. Although this is standard protocol, there are many instances where companies are negligent and employees are forced to solicit the services of an attorney. Even with standard claims, having an attorney available to counsel and assist is important in building your claim.

It is important to have evidence of your injury and any other information that will support your claim, including witnesses and authorized medical professionals who have treated you and can define your illness or injury. You will also have to submit to an independent medical examination for the insurance company to determine how severe your injuries are and the amount of benefits you are eligible for. Once completed, you will receive notification whether or not your claim is approved. If approved, you should receive your benefits within a period of twenty-one days. If your claim is denied, your counsel should be able to file an appeal.

Although common, workplace injuries can place significant burdens on victims and their families financially, physically and emotionally. There are many companies that fight having to pay legitimate claims. Having an attorney who will fight for your rights is key in getting your claim approved and paid in a timely manner. An attorney specializing in workers compensation is trained to assess the facts of the case, gather evidence and put together a strong case to accompany your appeal. It may take time, but they get results and recoup the benefits you deserve.