It doesn’t matter what line of work you pursue, your employer has a legal and moral obligation to provide a safe and secure work environment where there are minimal opportunities for injury and illness. Even still, accidents do happen, whether it’s from lifting a heavy box, tripping on the way to the restroom or even getting into a car accident on the way to a client’s location.
In such cases there are safeguards in place for the majority of workers, to ensure that medical bills and a portion of your lost wages are covered. These protections are called workers’ compensation, and they can help you remain afloat while you recover from your injury. Learn about the protections you have against on-the-job injuries, and how a workers’ compensation lawyer can help you get your bills covered.
Knowing Your Rights
Workers’ compensation is a no-fault system. This means that it doesn’t matter whose fault the injury was, so long as it occurred within the course of normal work duties, you are covered by injury insurance to make sure you can pay your mounting bills. You have a right to file a claim for workers’ compensation whenever you’re hurt at work. You also have the right to return to your job after you’re healed.
If you cannot heal completely, you have the right to gain disability compensation, and if possible to train for a new line of work. You have the right to challenge any denial of claim coverage, and you absolutely have the right to representation by a qualified and experienced attorney.
Accidents outside the Scope of Work
Sometimes your accident occurs at work or during work hours, but outside the scope of normal duties. In such cases, you may not be covered by worker’s comp, but a personal injury case may result. For example, if another staff member assaults you over a slight and you get injured in the confrontation, you can hold that person responsible. Such third party claims can sometimes open the door to higher settlements, but they are very specific situations and it can be difficult to determine where they apply.
What to Do If You’re Hurt
The first thing to do when you’re hurt on the job is report the injury to your employer right away. Your boss then has the responsibility of working with you to file a claim. Remember, however, that the sooner you report your injury the better off you’ll be. Sometimes insurance companies use a delay in reporting as an excuse to deny claims.
You may be required to see an authorized healthcare provider; your employer will have a list of these doctors. You should always keep detailed records of your entire treatment process, medications, therapy and any other aspects of recovery.
Fighting a Denial with a Workers’ Compensation Lawyer
All too often, workers’ compensation claims are denied or terminated prematurely. If this happens, you need someone to help you fight for your rights and get the lost wages and medical bills to which you’re entitled. An experienced workers’ compensation lawyer will have the knowledge to pursue your case, prove your injuries and guide you towards the right decisions. If you’ve been hurt in Odessa, contact Robert White to discuss your legal needs today.