When an employee is injured while he/she is working, they are entitled to workers’ compensation. This system provides care and benefits to those hurt on the job. Since it was put into effect in the early 20th century, its laws go beyond covering workplace injuries, but also illnesses that come about because of workplace conditions, called occupational diseases. Compensation laws are different from state to state. There are also special laws for federal employees, and for workers in specific industries like railroad employees.
Benefits supplied by this compensation include the recovery of lost wages, medical treatment, and compensation for permanent disability. Some state programs also give their employees vocational retraining and return-to-work programs. Some states also provide monetary benefits to the family of workers who have been killed on the job or die due to an occupational disease. In exchange for this coverage and benefits, the workers cannot sue their employers for negligence. The laws give employers and co-workers a sound fraction of protection by regulating the amount employees can get from their employers. More importantly, the laws prevent injured employees from suing their co-workers. The compensation system is a kind of no-fault system. The carelessness of an employer or co-worker is not the concern; the injured employee is simply being compensated for work-related reasons.
As I have said, workers’ compensation laws vary from state to state, so if you have been injured on the job, you need to find out whether you are entitled to the benefits offered by your state’s workers’ compensation laws. To do this, contact a workers’ compensation attorney in your area who is experienced. If you are not covered by workers’ compensation, it is possible to bring a civil claim against your employer or even a third party. You can even bring a suit against a manufacturer of a faulty product.
Most injuries that are covered by workers’ compensation are the logical mishaps caused by something mechanical or some object around the work area. Diseases, if they are caused by toxins from work are covered. Even mental and physical strain or stress because of a demanding job or an unfair supervisor will be covered.
Keep in mind that there are circumstances that are not covered by workers’ compensation. These, too, are logical: an injury from horseplay at work; injury traveling to and from work; if the employee leaves during break or lunch to do an errand and is injured. There are three things you must do if you think you have a claim to workers’ compensation:
Report you injury to your employer immediately.
Complete a claim form.
File the claim as soon as possible.
Have a legal expert review your claim before you submit it.