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8 Things Every Employee Needs to Learn about Worker's Compensation

By Collin Maxwell, LG Law Offices

September 12 2019 - Do you know that many workers suffer from work-related injuries, but didn't know they are entitled for a workers' compensation? And maybe, you could be one of them.

On the other hand, some workers do know about workers' compensation, but they are confused and often believe the myths and misconceptions about it, hence they fail to get the most benefits of a workers' compensation.

In this article, you will learn the basic truths about workers' compensation. This is clearly not exhaustive, but it should clarify all facts and remove all myths and misconceptions so you can fully benefit from it.

You can always learn the best legal information if you have the best workers' compensation lawyer around. But for the meantime, these are the information you should learn when thinking about workers' compensation, and you can just discuss further with your lawyer once you have him/her.

Let's begin with the basics of workers' compensation.

1) Workers' compensation is required to all employers and businesses

Every employer, business and company is required to provide workers' compensation to their employees. This may sound obvious, but did you know that before, when there's no law about workers' compensation, employees must seek help to a court if they're to get a workers' compensation claim (often simply called "financial compensation")?

Today, if you're an employee, you are guaranteed to a workers' compensation benefits should you have any injuries, accidents or illnesses.

It should be clear that workers' compensation have scopes, many of which we will discuss below.

It should also be clear that laws on workers' compensation differ with each state. But generally, any employees in the US is entitled to a workers' compensation benefits and claims.

2) You can get workers' compensation even if you weren't injured at your workplace

If you had an accident or got injury while performing work-related tasks or anything else requested by your employer that's work-related, you are still eligible for a workers' compensation benefit.

It's not necessary that the incident happened in your workplace before you can claim such benefits; as long as it's work-related, you are almost always eligible for such claims.

A typical example of this is attending an employer- or company-sponsored seminar or training. If you had an accident during this event, you are entitled for a workers' compensation.

3) You should not be discriminated for filing a workers' compensation

An employer is prohibited to fire you - or perform discriminatory acts against you - if you filed for workers' compensation.

Some employers do this to avoid increased expenses, so you should know your rights right now. If your employer fired you just because you filed for a workers' compensation claim - or you suspect is anything to do with that - have a lawyer to help you with that case!

4) You have the option to sue your employer OR collect workers' compensation

When you faced an accident or got injured during work or any related occasions, you actually have the choice to either sue your employer or collect workers' compensation.

However, you can't do both. Suing your employer means you waive your right for a workers' compensation claim. Claiming workers' compensation means you waive your right to sue your employer. However, if there's any third-party involved in the accident, you can sue them.

Basically, it's sue or claim. You can't do both.

But there's an exception: if the accident is intentionally made by your employer or if it happened while performing an employer's request that's outside your job assignment, you can claim for workers' compensation and sue your employer for such incidents.

5) Your injury should be within the scope of workers’ compensation

This should already be clear from the very beginning: to claim for workers' compensation, the incident should be work-related.

Anything outside work, or anything that goes against legal and moral norm, such as:

  • Accidents outside
  • You got injured while violating a company policy or, worse, committing a crime against it
  • The accident is self-inflicted

These are all not covered for a workers' compensation.

6) Workers’ compensation fraud is costly

This is good news for you: if your employer tries to commit fraud against you to escape the compensation's obligations, you have the right to sue him/her.

One way of committing a workers' compensation fraud is when your employer denies the accident or insists that it's not work-related - even when it's clear and true that it is.

Workers' compensation fraud is very costly; probably, more costly than the compensation itself. However, the same is true for employees.

If an employee attempted to commit fraud - usually in the form of "making" accidents that didn't really happen - just to get a workers' compensation benefit, the employee can face criminal charges of fraud relating to workers' compensation.

7) Workers' compensation covers long-term illnesses, incidents and injuries.

Some employees think that since their (work-related) accident or illness are long-term and/or already happened long ago in the past, they're not entitled to a workers' compensation anymore. This isn't necessarily the case.

One perfect example is the case for the Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, which inflicts the hand of the patient. You can even file for a workers' compensation even if this injury existed after work, so long as it's work-related. Usually, this is applicable if your job is manual labor or anything to do with working your hands.

If you believe your injury is work-related even if it's long-term, check it out and maybe, you're eligible for a workers' compensation.

8) Workers' compensation benefits are tax-exempt

Most workers' compensation are mostly tax-exempt, so you should take full advantage of it.

Conclusion

These are just some of the basics about workers' compensation that you should know. We hope this article clarified the facts from myths and misconceptions.

If you need know help about workers' compensation, be sure to have only the best lawyer to help you!


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