Being injured at work can affect your life in a number of ways. First, the injury will be painful and will likely require medical attention. If your injury is severe and you cannot work, it is not uncommon to start worrying about your financial situation. According to the U.S. Department of Labor-Bureau of Labor Statistics, private industry employers report around 2.7 million nonfatal workplace injuries every year. Fortunately, if you are injured at work, you are eligible for worker’s compensation.
What Is Worker’s Compensation?
All employers are required to carry worker’s compensation insurance. According to the California Department of Industrial Relations, California worker’s compensation provides essential benefits, including:
- Temporary disability benefits
- Permanent disability benefits
- Supplemental job displacement benefits
- Return-to-work supplement
- Medical caregivers
- Death benefits
Do I Qualify For Worker’s Compensation Benefits?
According to Disability Secrets by Nolo, most workplace injuries are caused by car or truck accidents, falls, heavy lifting, and moving heavy objects.
Most injuries and illnesses that occur at work are eligible for worker’s compensation benefits. You will be covered if you experienced a one-time accident or an injury that occurred over time due to repetitive motion.
Do I need a Lawyer?
If you have been injured on the job and need to apply for worker’s compensation benefits, you can apply on your own; however, it may not be the best idea. There are a few reasons why it is best to have a lawyer on your side.
- Paperwork and documentation: There is plenty of work involved when applying for worker’s compensation. The application is lengthy, and you need to provide documentation from your employer and your doctor. If you don’t fill something out correctly or forget the necessary documentation, your claim will be denied, and it will take time to appeal the decision, taking it longer for you to start receiving benefits.
- Help you make the right medical decisions: Your employer’s workers’ compensation insurance company will try to send you to one of their doctors, who may not have your best interest in mind. The insurance company hires these doctors, and their top priority is getting you back to work quickly. Your lawyer can send you to a doctor of their choice, ensuring you get the medical care you need and will be looking out for you.
- They can get in touch with the insurance adjuster: Your employer’s insurance adjuster handles hundreds of cases, including yours, making it impossible to get someone on the phone when you need them. If you don’t have a lawyer, you don’t pose a threat and your phone call will be put on the back burner. If you have a worker’s compensation lawyer working for you, they can file a petition for benefits that cover the things you need now, and the adjuster must respond or face fees and penalties. Hiring a lawyer will ensure your case is moving along, and you will start receiving benefits sooner.
- Ensure you are paid what you deserve: Worker’s compensation benefits pay two-thirds of what you were making before the accident. Your lawyer will make sure your wages were calculated correctly, and no errors were made, ensuring you receive the full benefits you are entitled to.
- Representation: If you were denied benefits, your case might need to go before a judge, and your lawyer will prepare and present the case, helping you get the benefits you deserve.
Being injured at work doesn’t have to affect you financially, thanks to worker’s compensation benefits. If you need to file a claim, it is best to have a lawyer on your side.