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
- Rehabilitation and physical therapy
- Doctor’s visits
- 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.