If you are injured at work, you are entitled to get benefits under the workers’ compensation program. Businesses with more than 50 employees are required by the law in different states to provide workers’ compensation insurance to protect their workers. The benefits that you can get depend on your injuries and other workplace factors. However, you need to understand your rights when you are hurt at work. Read on to learn your legal rights and other options when you are injured in a work-related accident.
Report The Accident
You must report the accident immediately to your supervisor and make sure they record it in the logbook. In some cases, you may not feel immediate pain after the accident, but make sure you report it regardless. Some injuries can manifest later, and it may be difficult for you to claim compensation if you fail to report the accident to the responsible authorities.
Get Medical Treatment
You should get medical treatment soon after the workplace incident. Some companies have a network of doctors and healthcare providers that attend to their employees. However, you also have a legal right to visit an independent doctor, but you should inform your employer first about your decision. The other thing that you should know is that you may incur additional costs if you decide to see a private physician, and you would be liable to pay them.
You also have a legal right to gather evidence at the accident scene that you can use to support your compensation claim. You can take photos at the accident scene using your phone or even record video clips. Additionally, you also have a right to get details from the witnesses about what would have transpired when the incident occurred.
Seek Legal Advice
Employees working for most companies in different states are entitled to get workers’ compensation benefits if they get injured during work. If your employer disputes your eligibility to get benefits, you have a right to seek advice from a professional attorney. In Charleston, many employees face the challenges of fighting denials. As stated by a Charleston, SC workers’ compensation lawyer, hiring a legal professional can give you peace of mind since they can represent you when you encounter challenges along with your compensation claim. While you should not have legal representation when filing a claim since the employer is responsible for that process, you have a right to seek legal advice from your attorney.
Accept Or Reject The Offer
In most cases, workers’ compensation pays for lost wages, medical expenses which include surgery, emergency room care, hospitalization, doctor’s appointments, prescription medications, and others. To collect benefits, you must be treated by a doctor recommended by your employer. If you are out of work for 14 days as a result of your injury, you should get the compensation that is equivalent to two-thirds of your wages.
The type of compensation that you are entitled to is dependent on the severity of injuries, permanent disability, or employment status. However, you have a right to refuse certain things that your employer can request you to do when you are injured at work. Your employer may request you not to file a compensation claim, but you have a right to say no since this is illegal. If your doctor clears you to return to work, you have the right to do so, and your employer should not discriminate against you because of your injuries. If you suffer permanent injuries, you have a right to get some form of permanent disability compensation.
Appeal A Denial
If you disagree with the compensation that you are offered by the employer, you have a right to reject it and appeal the decision. You can request a formal hearing with the Workers’ Compensation Commission if your claim is denied. The insurance company should provide the reasons for the denial of your compensation. Alternatively, you can consider mediation to resolve the impasses.
However, if these options fail to yield positive results, you have a right to approach the worker’s compensation court. You can also approach the state industrial claim to pursue your workers’ compensation claim. You must do this without any fear since the laws in different states prohibit the employees from filing lawsuits against them. You need to remember the statute of limitations to avoid losing your legal rights to compensation for benefits.
If you are injured at work, you are eligible to get compensation under the workers’ compensation scheme. In many states, employers are required by the law to have workers’ compensation insurance to protect their workers. While you are entitled to get benefits for your injuries, you should know your legal rights and other options to ensure that you get maximum compensation. It is imperative to report the workplace accident to your supervisor and seek medication for your injuries.