Disclaimer: What you’re about to read below is only meant to give you the information you may need in case you sustain a personal injury at work – here’s to hoping it won’t happen to you anytime soon – and shouldn’t serve as a replacement for legal advice. If you want to know more about what legal options you can take if ever you’ve been injured on the job, you would have to seek counsel from a licensed lawyer who knows their way around work-related injury cases such as yours.
Employers often ensure that the place where their employees are working is safe from harm. After all, the injuries that employees might sustain while doing their job can lead to delays in production which could then translate to a loss of profit, especially if an injured employee has been unable to report to work for a prolonged period of time. Thus, it’s a source of relief for an employer if no work-related injuries have occurred to any of their employees. However, accidents happen even in the safest of workplaces which can cause distress for both the employer and the injured employee.
Workers’ Compensation Benefits as an Alternative to Filing a Personal Injury Lawsuit
If you sustain injuries after someone hurt you, your first course of action is usually to file a personal injury lawsuit against the person who had inflicted harm upon you. However, if you get injured at work, you’re blocked from doing the same against your employer as they’ve most likely provided you with workers’ compensation benefits that you can use instead.
- Workers’ compensation benefits protect employers from being sued by their employees when an injury occurs during working hours.
- Once an employee is given workers’ compensation benefits, they’re waiving their right to file a personal injury lawsuit in exchange for receiving monetary benefits designed to help them more easily recover from their work-related injuries.
- Both employer and injured employee are also absolved of any fault they might have that caused the injury to happen if the former made sure that the latter’s workers’ compensation benefits are taking care of their medical expenses and lost wages while they’re recovering.
What Should You as an Injured Employee Do for You to Claim Your Workers’ Compensation Benefits?
For you to make use of the workers’ compensation benefits as provided to you by your employer, you would have to follow these two simple steps in case you get injured at work:
- Have yourself checked by a doctor chosen by the insurance company who provided your employer with workers’ compensation insurance. Regardless of the severity of your work-related injuries, it’s always best to seek medical attention right away.
- However, merely having your injuries checked by a doctor of your own choosing can raise suspicions and even cause you to be penalized.
- Thus, you would also have to agree to be examined independently by a doctor designated by the workers’ compensation insurance company.
- Report your injury to your employer. Whether immediately or as soon as you’re able to do so, you have to report your work-related injuries to your employer and have them fill out a First Report of Injury form on your behalf.
- Once your employer completes the First Report of Injury form, you should double-check it to make sure that your work-related injuries have been reported as you described them.
- You should also ask your employer to provide you with a copy of the accomplished First Report of Injury form for your personal records.
Not All Employees Have Workers’ Compensation Benefits
While most states require employers to provide workers’ compensation benefits to their employees, there are certain exceptions resulting in some employees not being compensated at all for sustained work-related injuries. For any of these instances, an injured employee can talk to a personal injury lawyer and file a lawsuit against their employer instead.
- Some states laws don’t require companies to provide workers’ compensation benefits at all or don’t require employers with only a handful of employees working for them to give workers’ compensation coverage.
- There are also certain types of work that is excluded from receiving workers’ compensation benefits depending on the state where workers are employed.
No employer should ever assume that their employees are forever injury-proof as even the safest workplace can harm an employee when they least expect it. If you find yourself suddenly getting injured while at work, you can claim your workers’ compensation benefits wherein all your medical expenses and lost wages would be shouldered by your employer’s insurance company. However, if you’re among those employees who have been excluded from being granted their workers’ compensation benefits, you should discuss your legal options with a personal injury lawyer who can help you file the corresponding lawsuit against your employer. In any case, you should exercise the legal rights afforded to you in case of work-related injuries that you sustain while working.
Dianna Charles is a promising young law enthusiast that hopes to bring her youthful spirit in her field. She tries to add a refreshing modern take to topics on the legal world that people can learn from. Dianna enjoys her free time with friends and family, and loves to cook for them.