Receiving Your Benefits
The history of worker’s rights has been an ongoing battle. In the early 1900s, many of the benefits and rights that workers take for granted today didn’t exist. One of those rights is worker’s compensation. This is basically a form of insurance struck between an employer and employee that guarantees the worker a set amount of money if they are ever injured on the job. However, despite this law, many employers and insurance companies attempt to utilize loopholes in order to reduce the amount of compensation that a worker receives. In some instances, the compensation may not be paid at all. If you are injured at work, then it is critical that you follow these steps in order to increase the chances of receiving worker’s compensation.
1. Receive Medical Aid
One of the most important steps that you need to take after being injured at work is to receive medical aid. Even if you do not believe that you are severely injured or in need of aid, you must go to a hospital. At the very least, you should have your doctor check on your injury. By not going to a hospital, the insurance company can basically argue that your injury wasn’t severe enough to warrant a large compensation payout. You also need to ensure that the doctor that you visit either meets your employer’s appropriate program that they are listed within or that the doctor is authorized by the worker’s compensation board. Not doing so may limit the amount of money that you receive.
Once you have been treated, you must notify your employer about your injury. In some cases, it may be best to do this before you are taken to the hospital. It’s crucial that if there is evidence of the injury taking place that you receive that evidence. It may prove crucial during your trial to prove that the injury took place while you were at work and during your work hours. Many insurance companies will refuse to pay because there wasn’t any proof of the injury taking place either at work or during the hours in which you were scheduled to work. Typically, you cannot receive compensation if you were outside of the work zone or if it occurred during a break or lunch break in which you were not clocked in. By notifying your employer, they can begin the process of filing for worker’s compensation. You have to notify them in writing and within 30 days of the injury taking place.
However, these rules may be subjective depending on the company and state. Essentially, as soon as the injury has taken place, you should notify the appropriate authorities. Do not wait.
3. Hire A Lawyer
If you want to receive worker’s compensation, then you need to hire a lawyer. You’re going to be up against an insurance company’s attorney. They’re some of the best in the business. Look for a lawyer who has experience taking these insurance companies on in the courtroom. Your lawyer will also inform you of any other legal steps that you need to take in order to protect yourself. For example, they may suggest asking your doctor to come in as a witness to speak on your behalf during the trial. They’ll also have a keen knowledge as to the deadlines that you need to meet in order to file for worker’s compensation. More importantly, they will be able to defend you against the attacks made by the insurance company’s attorney. The opposing attorney’s goal is to tear down your injury so the insurance company doesn’t have to pay a large amount–if they have to pay at all.
4. Follow Doctor’s Orders
Depending on the injury, your doctor will give you steps on how to recover more quickly. While worker’s compensation may be able to pay for your medical bills and the wages that you’ll lose while recovering, you don’t want to rely on it. By following your doctor’s suggestions, you can recover swiftly and return to work just as quickly. You can limit the amount of damage on your body by following their orders.