Workers compensation is insurance that pays for a worker’s work-related injuries and illnesses. This can include something as small as paid time off to recover from a sprained ankle to permanent disability coverage. This is a state-regulated compensation plan that differs from unemployment insurance.
When a worker accepts an employer’s workers compensation benefits, the employee waives the right to sue the employer. This is why injured workers often work with an employment lawyer or a workers comp lawyer during negotiations. Workers comp lawyers have the experience and knowledge to negotiate settlements with both insurance companies and employers.
Workers Compensation Insurance
Employers and workers pay into workers compensation insurance based on the risks associated with the work. This is a class code, and it changes depending on the field of work. For instance, a job in construction will have a higher risk of injury, therefore making the class code much higher.
Some workers compensation insurance use a compensation bargain, also known as an exclusive remedy. Workers relinquish the right to sue their employer with this bargain. All benefits and injuries are clearly outlined in the agreement, so there is a mutual agreement on settlement option before an injury occurs. This way, everyone avoids an expensive and lengthy litigation. The agreement also prevents an employer from denying compensation to a negligent or liable employee.
However, not all workplaces offer compensation bargains. Oftentimes, injured workers will have to take legal action against either their employer, the insurance company, or even a liable third party.
How Workers Compensation Pays For Injuries
Workers compensation is paid annually, or out of each paycheck. Workers compensation insurance is something that both workers and employers pay actively. If you’re injured at work, the workers comp you’d rightfully receive is something you’ve actively paid for during your time at your job.
If your injury is permantly debilitating and you need long-term disability, your employer may offer a settlement. A settlement can get rid of the headaches and cost of a lengthy litigation battle. However, accepting a settlement means a worker cannot sue their employer in the future. This could be dangerous if you have another unforeseen medical cost associated with your injury.
Workers have the right to refuse offers. Before accepting any kind of settlement or offer, always consult a lawyer. They can tell you if the deal you’re getting is the right one for you.
What To Do If Your Workers Compensation Claims Are Denied
Report all workplace injuries right away. A claim can be denied for a number of reasons. Commonly, injured workers miss their deadline to file. This is because the injury wasn’t prevalent right away, or the injury was so extensive it stopped the worker from applying. Other common problems for denied claims include:
- Not enough medical evidence
- Missing information on claim forms
- Inncorrect information on claims
- Employer disputes the claim
- The injury isn’t compensatable
Workers compensation doesn’t just pay for an injured worker’s medical expenses. Workers compensation also pays for wages lost, time off work, vocational rehabilitation, and even funeral costs if the worker dies. Extensive and permanent injuries can cost employers and insurance companies possibly millions. This is why the injured workers are often denied when making claims. When employers deny their employees the right to an injured workers compensation insurance, they often use these defenses:
- Assumption of risk: the injury resulted from a known and accepted danger associated with the job.
- The fellow worker: another co-worker’s negligence caused the injury.
- Contributory negligence: the worker’s own negligence caused the injury.
Workers compensation is something workers actively pay into. If you need to make a claim, you rightfully deserve compensation or your injuries. Get your claims approved and legally protect yourself with an employment lawyer.
A workers compensation lawyer can help you get all the compensation you deserve. You shouldn’t have to suffer and lose money because of your injuries. Call the number at the top of your screen to talk to a workers compensation lawyer near you. They can help you approve your claims, get a settlement, or even sue your employer if they refuse to help with your claim.