If someone gets hurt on the job, they may require emergency medical care and support during their recovery. Especially when someone’s injuries are significant or they work a demanding and physical job, it may be necessary for them to take a lengthy leave of absence from work until their injuries heal.
Someone who has been hurt on the job, therefore, has two distinct and unignorable forms of financial pressure applied to them almost immediately. They have to worry about their medical expenses and also the sudden loss of their income. Workers sometimes make the mistake of not reporting their injuries and trying to work despite their symptoms, but they may set themselves up for a worse overall medical outcome in the long term by doing so. Injured employees often benefit from reporting an incident so that they can apply for workers’ compensation benefits.
How workers’ compensation protects employees
Most employers in the United States have to carry workers’ compensation coverage to comply with state law. No-fault workers’ compensation coverage helps indemnify employers against the liability they would otherwise have for worker injuries. In most cases, employees covered by workers’ compensation will not be able to sue their employer over their injuries unless there is some kind of criminal activity or gross negligence involved. However, they can secure workers’ compensation benefits without establishing fault on the part of their employer.
A claim typically only requires proof that someone has a medical condition directly linked to their employment. Workers’ compensation benefits can provide full medical coverage that does not pass any costs on to the worker and also disability benefits. Injured workers can receive a portion of their average weekly wages while they are unable to do their jobs on either a temporary or permanent basis. There are even partial disability benefits available for those who have to change their professions following an injury in the workplace.
Workers’ compensation claims should not lead to punishment
Many people feel nervous about filing a workers’ compensation claim because they think their employer will retaliate against them. Technically, punishing an individual for reporting a job injury, filing a workers’ compensation claim or even seeking medical accommodations during their recovery would be a violation of the worker’s rights. Companies should cooperate with those injured on the job rather than punishing them for making use of the systems in place for their protection.
Seeking legal guidance to learn about the basics of workers’ compensation coverage may help those who are struggling to pay their bills or are worried about getting medical treatment after getting hurt on the job.