The workplace can sometimes prove to be an unpredictable and dangerous environment. Every year in the United States, millions of people suffer work-related accidents leading to incapacitation, various injuries, and hospitalization, and even death. No matter the severity, these incidents can cause trauma, hefty medical bills, and temporary wage loss for the victims. In these unfortunate scenarios, it’s imperative to verify whether you are legally entitled to receive financial compensation and damages. This informative guide should help you determine your eligibility for insurance payout if you ever get hurt on the job.
One of the first requirements for compensation pertains to your status as a worker. Generally speaking, full-time or part-time employees who have signed a binding contract with the company or business are the ones eligible to receive insurance damages. This excludes independent contractors such as freelancers and consultants, as well as volunteers (exceptions do apply). Of course, labor legislation varies from one state to the other, with special protection for agricultural or domestic workers. That said, some employers tend to misclassify certain categories of workers, so be sure to know precisely the nature of your work agreement upon engaging any procedure.
Employer’s Workers’ Compensation Insurance
The vast majority of employers and operating businesses are required by law to carry workers’ benefits insurance. This coverage package aims to compensate the worker in the event of an accident or work-related injury while protecting the employer against potential lawsuits. Depending on the law in effect, this insurance will be determined by an array of factors such as the nature of the business, the number of staff, and the type of work and professional duties. So, in most cases, it is the responsibility of the employer to have coverage whenever an employee gets harmed or injured on the job. Even when not required to do so, many still choose to buy this type of insurance for safety purposes, avert court cases, and avoid legal complications.
Consult a Specialized Lawyer
Invariably, having a competent and experienced attorney at your side is the surest way to determine whether you are entitled to receive compensation. As the Tennessee-based team of experts from the Davis Firm explains, legal representation is always necessary in the event of a work-related injury. Whether you want to check your eligibility, or if your employer and their insurer deem that you are not entitled to compensation, your lawyer will do everything in their power to ascertain your rights and help you receive your dues. It’s worth noting that a considerable number of employers and insurers will purposefully attempt to minimize your claim, which is why it’s essential to call on the services of a lawyer with a proven record of success dealing with work-related personal injury cases.
Reporting and Filing Deadlines
Another important requirement for receiving due compensation after a work accident is to abide by a strict procedure that involves specific reports and filing deadlines. In fact, state legislation often imposes a statute of limitations that can range from a few months to several years. Should you fail to start the procedure before that deadline, you legally relinquish your rights to any form of compensation. As such, it’s advised that you get in touch with your attorney as soon as possible to elaborate a plan of action and eliminate the risk of missing a deadline.
Common Types of Work Injuries
Lastly, but importantly, it goes without saying that the injury in question must have been sustained inside or in the immediate vicinity of your workplace (office, shop, storage area, outdoor parking, etc.). You will be expected to legally prove that the injury you have suffered was indeed caused on the employer’s or company’s premises. Here are some of the most types of work-related injuries that qualify for compensation:
- Head and facial injuries
- Neck, shoulder, and back injuries
- Hand and arm injuries
- Leg and foot injuries
All things considered, the workplace is supposed to be a safe environment that’s conducive to the organization, exchange, and productivity. However, in too many cases, whether it’s the result of faulty equipment or plain negligence, a great number of workers and staff will be the victim of a workplace incident. This may jeopardize their health and cause all sorts of injuries, put the victim out of work, and prevent them from making a living. So, whether you’ve accidentally slipped on a wet floor, or cut yourself operating a machine, you can legally claim compensation for your ordeal. A reputable lawyer will be your best ally to determine your eligibility, advocate on your behalf, and negotiate a coherent figure.