Know your rights: What is workers compensation law

Any employee who endured a workplace injury is entitled to workers compensation, which includes medical bills as well as lost wages.

The only requirement that determines whether or not you’re entitled to receive compensation is the eligibility as a resident in the country in question. But no matter whose fault it was that you were hurt during your working hours, your employer is legally obligated to cover your medical expenses, in addition to any extra charges that you may require for a sick leave. Read on to find out more about workers compensation, and how you can claim this legal right. 

What is workers compensation? 

Worker’s compensation is a mandatory policy that employers are legally obligated to abide by. Any employee who is injured on the job or catches an occupational disease due to existing work conditions is entitled to compensation. Of course, this compensation is not just any sum of money that your employer sees fit. Depending on your injury, this could range from a couple of hundreds to thousands of dollars.

All your medical expenses, including your hospital stay as well as any lost wages as a result of your recuperation period, should be covered by your employer according to the law. However, because this can be very expensive, many employers will try to skirt their way around paying you what you need. 

Reporting injury 

Because any business usually prioritizes profit over the wellbeing of employees, your superiors may offer you compensation for your injury directly, or they may deny you compensation altogether if your injury is severe. According to the workplace injury lawyers at stewartlawoffices.net/workers-compensation-lawyer/on-the-job-injuries, the most commonly reported injuries include brain damage, spinal cord injury, broken bones, and occupational diseases, all of which can be very expensive to treat, and may require months away from work. This, of course, will require your employer to pay you thousands of dollars on your sick leave to cover your expenses as well as your wage. 

With that being said, it’s natural to expect your employer to deny you compensation. But you should also, never accept any direct deposit from your superiors. If you encounter such a situation, always contact an attorney who specializes in worker’s compensation. Your lawyer may be able to provide you with more than what you have initially needed to compensate you for your lost time. 

Evidence 

If you’re ever injured on the job, you should always take photographs of the injury, or ask a colleague to do so on your behalf. If you’re unable to move, your colleagues may testify as witnesses in your injury report to your employer. Evidence should also include any contact information of the witnesses, as well as photographs of the workplace itself. 

If your injury is not severe but still requires medical attention, you are still entitled to compensation. Some employers may lie to workers and tell them that they cannot help if it were the employee’s own fault. However, worker’s compensation is a no-fault policy. Even if you were injured as a result of a slip, or for using the wrong machinery, your employer is still legally obligated to compensate you for the injury.

Time frame 

Any worker who is injured on the job is required to report the injury within thirty days if the injury is physical to qualify for compensation. However, if your doctor diagnoses you with an occupational disease up to two years after you were infected, you may still request compensation. This is because occupational diseases may take time to show symptoms. 

On the other hand, some injuries are not due to negligence or slips and falls. Cumulative Trauma Disorder (CTD) is very common amongst factory and warehouse employees, and may affect them years after working for a certain employer. These injuries can be permanent, while some can lead to a mobility disability. In that case, your time frame may be different depending on how soon your doctor was able to diagnose you, while your compensation may require an attorney, seeing as it can be too hefty for your employer to pay. 

Any employee, regardless of nationality, is entitled to workers compensation if they were injured at the workplace. Many people may presume that in order to be eligible for this compensation, your injury has to be a result of negligence, but this is not true. Because this is a no-fault policy, even if your injury was a result of a slip on your behalf, you are still entitled to be compensated – unless of course, you purposely inflict harm on yourself. If your employer refuses to grant you what you need, contact an attorney for legal help, but never settle for direct deposits from your superiors.