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Injuries or job-related sicknesses that hamper your ability to function normally can make your life miserable, and often result in unexpected financial stress for employees (such as loss of wages caused by time away from work). And to make things worse, workers compensation claims can sometimes cause tension between the employee and employer.
Workers’ compensation laws were put in place to compensate workers who were injured on the job, or who contracted a sickness that is directly related to working conditions. Workers compensation benefits were created to provide a base level of support to people in these situations and, in cases where a worker died from the work-related injury or sickness, benefits are provided to family members and dependents.
Workers compensation benefits coverage begins on an employee’s first day on the job. Any business with more than two employees is required by law to provide workers compensation coverage to its employees. Workers’ compensation insurance covers injury, damage or sickness while at work. In most cases, accidents and injuries occurring during daily commutes or travel to/from work are not covered, as well as injuries resulting from tasks the employee was not specifically told or authorized to do.
If an injury on the job occurs, you should report it immediately to your supervisor or the person in charge. He/she is required to notify the company’s workers compensation insurance provider with details of the incident. Afterward, you are responsible for gathering and completing all appropriate forms and documentation related to the injury or sickness. When completing these forms, it is important for you to be as detailed as possible about what happened, including specific facts about what caused your injury or sickness. If co-workers or eyewitnesses saw what happened, include this information when you notify the person in charge. Time is of the essence, and the quicker you notify your company of the accident or injury, the quicker you can start the process of receiving your worker’s compensation insurance benefits. If your injury or sickness was severe enough that you were unable to report the incident after it happened, you will receive emergency treatment and a record of the accident will likely be completed by others on your behalf.
In cases where eyewitnesses provide a statement for you, their explanation should be completed with as much detail as possible to describe what happened, and to describe any available evidence. Their statement(s) should be given to the employer as soon as possible, and it is the company’s responsibility to investigate all circumstances surrounding the accident and what caused it. Workers who are injured while under the influence of alcohol or illegal drugs, or any other “wrongdoing”, are typically not eligible for workers’ compensation benefits.
If the injury was the result of working too quickly for conditions, or from inattention to surroundings, it will normally be covered by worker’s compensation insurance. Workers’ comp insurance is the primary benefit available to people who are injured on the job, and the injured employee will not usually be able to get additional benefits from the company. However, there are allowances for third-party liability in some workers compensation cases, such as when your work injury was caused by the negligence of someone other than your employer. In these cases, you are able to file a workers’ compensation claim and a personal injury claim (third-party liability claim). Examples of this might include defective or malfunctioning equipment/machinery which caused the accident, or injuries resulting from hazardous materials on the job site. You should definitely seek the advice of a workers compensation lawyer if you think that a third-party was liable for your injury.
Injured employees can hamper their ability to receive workers compensation benefits in several ways:
The decision to hire a workers compensation lawyer can help you in several ways. You’ll learn specifically what types of benefits are available to you under the worker’s compensation insurance program. Your workers comp attorney can advise you about details of the process and timetable for receiving your benefits. In the aftermath of a serious injury or sickness, you may be angry, confused and overwhelmed by the benefits process. An experienced workers comp lawyer can explain what types of benefits are available to you, including how much and for how long. Your lawyer will explain coverage for issues like medical expenses, prescriptions, lost wages due to time away from work, expenses involved in travelling to/from medical appointments, rehabilitation or physical therapy, and anything else related to your job injury. While you are recovering, your lawyer will coordinate all of these issues with your company’s insurance provider. Each case is unique, and some cases are more complex than others. Experienced workers compensation lawyers is your advocate, knows how the system works, and can help you to maximize the benefits for your job-related injury or sickness. Some of these issues are challenging as you shouldn’t be expected to learn them on your own.
If you’ve been injured on the job, or become sick from what you think are work-related conditions, contact our office as soon as possible. Our workers compensation attorneys will protect your rights and oversee the many issues involved while you are recovering. Dealing with an injury or sickness is hard enough, and we can make sure the law works in your favor. When you retain our firm, we offer experience and deep understanding of the intricacies of workers compensation laws.
Whether your injury was caused by repetitive use, an on-the-job accident, or if you are sick from work-related conditions, having a workers comp lawyer on your side can give you peace of mind that you will get what you are entitled to.
Call our Macon workers compensation lawyer at (229) 213-0168 if you have any questions involving benefits for injuries, being declined for coverage by your business, you are no longer being able to execute the job you held just before your personal injury, or you do not comprehend exactly how the workers’ compensation benefits package functions. If you feel that all the advantages of the workers compensation system are not at your disposal, contact our Macon office immediately.