Many workers who are hurt on the job do not always know what their rights are, however, it is important to know that each state has laws that require the majority of employers to carry workers’ compensation insurance in order to provide benefits to injured workers. These benefits include all medical expenses related to the injury and a percentage of the employee’s regular wage.
The following is a brief overview of some of the most common misconceptions that injured workers have regarding qualifications of workers’ compensation. A skilled attorney, like a work injury Lawyer West Palm Beach relies on, can provide more details and offer a free case evaluation of your situation.
I was responsible for my injury so I am not entitled to workers’ compensation benefits.
This is untrue. Unlike personal injury claims, such as vehicle accidents, work injury cases are not fault-based. Any worker who is injured while performing job-related duties is covered under workers’ compensation laws. There are some exceptions to this law. If the worker was drunk or under the influence of drugs when they were injured, the claim will be denied. Another reason the claim will be denied is if the worker was engaging in some type of horseplay or other purposeful dangerous behavior.
If I file a workers’ compensation claim against my employer, they will fire me.
State laws have put in place stringent laws regarding workers’ compensation claims. One of those rules is that an employer cannot file a worker because they have filed an injury claim. This is considered a retaliatory move and the employer would face severe penalties for doing so. If an employer fires an injured worker or engages in other retaliation (such as cutting hours or transferring to a lower paying position), the worker should consult with an attorney who will advocate for them.
If I file a workers’ compensation claim, then I am suing my employer.
Unlike a personal injury claim, a workers’ compensation claim is not a tort action. In fact, the law protects employers from worker’s lawsuits. That’s why the workers’ compensation system is in place. Although injured workers are entitled to benefits for medical expenses and lost wages, they cannot pursue financial compensation for pain and suffering, emotional damages, and other types of non-economical damages that personal injury accident victims can.
I don’t need a job injury attorney to file a workers’ compensation claim.
Although injured workers can file a claim on their own, there are many situations where it is better to have an attorney advocating for the injured worker. If the injury was a minor one and the worker does not miss any work, then they can likely file the claim on their own, as long as there are no other extenuating circumstances. If the injury is more serious and the employee will be unable to work as they recover, the claim may become more complex and it is of greater benefit for the employee to retain the services of a job injury attorney in order to make sure their right to benefits are protected.
Thank you to the Law Offices of Franks, Koenig, & Neuwelt for providing their insight on workers compensation.