An injury at work can happen at any time. For your safety, it's important to report your injury to your boss quickly and get the medical help you need to make it better.
If you're hurt at work, state workers' compensation laws protect your rights and provide benefits. They require your employer to have workers' compensation insurance to pay for your medical care and compensate you for any wages lost due to the injury.
In most states, a state agency regulates workers’ compensation insurance. The agency approves insurance carriers and enforces laws that your employer and the insurance carrier have to follow.
If you're hurt on the job, don't wait to report the injury. There are often time limits for filing a claim and collecting your benefits. Accident.com can help you get every benefit you should from your workers' compensation claim.
Here's what you need to know about workers' compensation.
Table of Contents
- What is workers' compensation insurance and who administers it?
- Can I sue my employer for my work injury?
- Do I have to prove my employer was at fault?
- What is an injury? What if I get sick at work?
- When do I file a workers' compensation claim?
- What kind of benefits can I receive?
- What now?
What Is Workers' Compensation Insurance and Who Administers It?
Employers in nearly every state have to provide workers' compensation insurance that covers all of their employees. This is a policy from a state-approved insurance carrier. Each state has a different but similar set of workers' compensation laws, managed by a state insurance regulatory agency.
These laws protect the employee (but usually not independent contractors) injured on the job from the high cost of medical treatment and recovery.
Benefits also include the right to be compensated for lost wages if the employee can't return to work quickly or if the injury leads to disability that keeps the employee from returning to full duty.
Knowing the rights and the compensation you can get under your state's law is critical. At Accident.com, you can get a free consultation with a lawyer who will answer any questions you have about the benefits and protections you can get under state law.
Learn more about workers' compensation.
Can I Sue My Employer for My Work Injury?
Workers’ compensation law provides protections for both the employee and the employer. Because the law covers all healthcare costs and wage loss compensation as appropriate, injured employees can't sue their employers.
The intent of that policy is to protect your employer and decrease litigation. However, based on the law in each state, there are limited exceptions that you should know about.
These exceptions may include suing your employer for intentional harm, suing a third party that caused the injury, or suing your employer for lack of or denial of workers’ compensation benefits.
If any of these exceptions apply to your case, you may have other compensation opportunities for your injury. Your lawyer through Accident.com will ensure that you have access to all of the legal opportunities you are entitled to.
Do I Have to Prove My Employer Was at Fault?
You don't have to prove your employer was at fault for your injury or that any workplace conditions were unsafe. You only need to show you were injured or became sick at work.
Workers’ compensation benefits are there for you even if your employer has taken other precautions to protect you, like safety and health programs and training for the type of work you do. While you should do everything you're required to do to be safe, an injury can occur from causes you have no control over.
It doesn't matter what causes led to your injury - only that you are protected when an injury happens. The most important benefits of workers' compensation coverage, are your right to quality healthcare , wage loss compensation and full recovery so you can return to work.
Have any questions? Learn more about what you may have to show to the workers' compensation insurance carrier and all of your rights here.
What Is an Injury? What if I Get Sick at Work?
"Work" is usually defined as the time you start until the time you finish your scheduled work shift. It isn't based on the location of your job.
Work injuries can include a scrape from a slip in the parking lot or trauma from a car wreck. It can be severe injuries like broken bones from falls or amputation during machine operation. However, a self-inflicted injury or one that occurs during fighting or horseplay may not be covered.
You may also have benefits for illness from exposure to noise, chemicals, dust, air pollution or other bad materials in your work area. Although, there may be exceptions with illness-related coverage as well. For example, exposure to COVID-19 at work may or may not be covered.
Workers' compensation protections exist no matter how bad your injury or illness is. Whether you need first aid, in-office medical treatment or time in the hospital, you have the right to medical treatment.
The experts at Accident.com can help you understand your benefits. See this article to learn more.
When Do I File a Workers' Compensation Claim?
Report any injury or illness to your boss quickly. Also, request medical help even if you don't have symptoms and feel fine. Most states have a time limit to report a work-related injury or illness. If you wait too long, your employer's insurer may deny your claim.
In most states, you don't file the claim directly. When you report your injury, your employer should tell the state insurance carrier.
The insurance carrier will accept or deny your claim only after talking with your employer, your healthcare providers and you.
Your adjuster will manage your care and can tell you what doctors to see. Healthcare and wage loss costs are a big hit to the carrier's profit, so they'll push to get you back to work so they can close the claim.
If your claim is denied, don't worry! Legal advice is ready for you at Accident.com. A lawyer can ensure you get all your legal benefits.
Read more about when to report an injury or illness.
What Kind of Benefits Can I Receive?
Workers' compensation usually covers wages lost during the time you're missing work.
Other benefits may include medical costs, hospital costs, prescribed medications, physical therapy, disability benefits, ongoing healthcare costs and death benefits. They may also cover mileage when you go to healthcare providers or transportation if you can't get to the providers by yourself. Other benefits may be translators, vocational training and other services that'll help you get back to full employment.
However, you should know that wage loss benefits are often capped at one-half to two-thirds of an employee's weekly wage. A lawyer can ensure you get all the appropriate legal benefits and payments.
If your claim is denied, it may not be the end of the road. Accident.com is here to offer legal help. Just answer a few short questions, and a lawyer will contact you for a free consultation.
Find out how a lawyer can help you get all your benefits.
Anyone can get hurt or sick at work, and the potential for medical treatment, medications, therapy and other ongoing costs can be catastrophic. Certainly, losing wages during recovery can hurt you and your family.
Make a plan now to protect yourself and your family from these costs. You aren't alone! You can find the help you need at Accident.com.
At Accident.com, during your free consultation, your lawyer will look over your case, answer your questions and plan a course of action. We'll make sure you get all the benefits and compensation you can under the law.
Don't wait. There are time limits for filing any legal claim. Report your injury now, and get the help you need to get back to your job.
Contact Accident.com today for the free consultation and the legal help you may need.