If you are injured in an accident at work you are probably entitled to workers compensation. Nearly every employer is required by state law to provide workers compensation insurance coverage for it’s employees. If you suffer a job-related injury, here are a few important tips to protect your legal rights.
Make an Accident Report
You could run into problems if you don’t realize that you are injured right away. Many states have a very short period of time in which you must report an accident in order to be covered under workers compensation. Because of this, you should report any accident that you are involved in on the job. Even if you are not injured, your report of the incident could cause your employer to implement new safety measures that will prevent an injury from happening to someone else in the future.
Worker’s Comp Laws Provide Coverage, But Bar Lawsuits
Workers Compensation laws require most employers to obtain workers’ compensation insurance. With worker’s compensation, the employee doesn’t have to prove that the employer’s negligence caused the injury. In fact, the employee can be compensated even if the employee’s own negligence caused the injury. However, there are some instances when an employee’s injuries won’t be covered. One example, if an employee is intoxicated or using illegal drugs at the time of the incident, that employee’s injuries won’t be covered.
See a Doctor
You should see a doctor as soon as possible following an accident at work. If the injury warrants it, go to the emergency room. However, if you are not seriously injured, you should ask your employer if they require you to see a certain doctor. If your employer chooses the doctor and you are not satisfied with how things went at your visit, you may want to consider seeing another doctor of your own choosing. You may be entitled to a second opinion under the workers’ compensation laws. Depending on the extent of your injuries, you could stand to lose much more in benefits than it will cost you to get an evaluation by a different doctor. If you have health insurance, your doctor’s visit may be covered by it.
Report an Injury as Soon as it’s Discovered
It is up to your employer to file a workers’ compensation claim with their insurance company on your behalf. They won’t know to do this until you let them know you are injured. If you reported the accident, but didn’t know you were injured at the time, let your employer know as soon as you discover your injury. Follow up to make sure that a worker’s compensation claim is filed. You are entitled to a copy of the workers’ compensation claim filed by your employer.
If You Run Into Trouble, See a Workers Compensation Lawyer
You may want to consult an attorney with experience handling workers’ compensation claims. An initial consultation is usually free and an attorney will be able to help you determine what benefits you may be entitled to receive.