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Written by AskTheLawyers.com™
Any worker is at risk of being hurt on the job. If you are hurt at work, you may be eligible for workers’ compensation, commonly referred to as “workers’ comp”. Workers’ comp is an insurance program employers pay for to offer financial compensation to injured workers in order to cover lost wages and medical bills as a result of workplace accidents. Workers’ comp is simpler than filing a personal injury claim in several ways, though you may be eligible for both depending on third-party involvement. The best part of workers’ comp is that the injured employee or contractor does not have to prove negligence by someone else, as is necessary when filing a personal injury claim. Common workplace injuries include falls, such as falls from ladders or falls from scaffolds, burns, broken bones, and continued stress from repeated activities.
It is important to be prompt when filing a workers’ comp claim; there are limits to how long you can wait to file a claim before your eligibility runs out. Beware of employers who offer to pay for your medical expenses. In this situation, most employers don’t properly estimate the cost of your medical treatment over time and end up being unable to pay, even if the offer was made with pure intentions. Every state has strict workers’ compensation laws to protect employees from damages that occur as a result of a workplace injury, although Texas is the only state which does not require employers to offer workers’ compensation. If you live in a state where workers’ comp benefits are insufficient to cover your damages or where workers’ comp is not required, it’s a good idea to seek legal advice and see what opportunities for compensation are available to you.
Immediately after an accident occurs at work, it is essential to notify your supervisor as well as the HR department of your company. There is usually a time limit within which you must report the accident/injury or forego compensation. It is also important to contact an attorney with experience in workers’ comp cases as soon as possible after the accident. Contacting an attorney in a timely manner may provide you with more control over your choices in medical treatment.
Let’s go over some important workers’ compensation statistics from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Social Security Administration, and the Insurance Information Institute.
First and foremost, it is the responsibility of the employer to provide safe working conditions and adequate protective equipment and protocols to their workers. However, any workplace presents inherent risks. When you file a workers’ compensation claim, you are actually filing against your employer’s insurance company. If other parties were involved, you may also be eligible to file a personal injury claim. Depending on the circumstances of the accident, several parties may be liable in your particular case. These may include:
In addition to workers’ comp, you may be eligible to file a personal injury claim. When an accident occurs, it is important to preserve evidence at the scene, especially if a third party is involved. Evidence to aid your case may include photos, videos, witness information, and the information of any other parties involved. However, it should be noted that it is most important to file your workers’ comp claim first so you can begin to receive compensation for medical bills. Depending on the nature of you or your family member’s injuries due to a workplace accident, your lawyer may identify possible claims for:
If you were hurt on the job or if a loved one was injured at work, you need a personal injury attorney that understands the emotional and physical toll these injuries can take and understands the complexities of these types of cases. An experienced personal injury attorney will be aggressive in seeking the compensation that you deserve.