No matter where you live in the United States, you are guaranteed rights for workers’ compensation in the event that you suffer from injuries at work. Employers pay for workers’ compensation insurance and employees do not pay anything to participate. You do not need to pay into your employer’s insurance policy to be eligible to receive workers’ compensation benefits.
Understanding Your Rights
Workers’ compensation programs are set up to provide support to workers that are injured on the job. They are offered through insurance companies that your employer pays to provide workers compensation insurance. It is treated like any other form of insurance except that your employer pays the premiums. When you file a claim, the insurance company pays the settlement.
If you are injured while doing your job, you may seek compensation. You have the right to file a claim with your employer and their insurance company for workers’ compensation benefits. If your claim is denied, you have the right to file an appeal and take your case to trial.
Workers’ Compensation Law
Your state’s labor department may need to approve any settlement agreement that you reach with your employer’s workers’ compensation insurance provider. A commissioner will review the agreement to ensure that you have been fairly compensated for your injuries and expenses. There is a history of employers trying to stop employees from claiming benefits through intimidation and other methods.
Once a claim has gone through the negotiation process, it is sent to the commissioner for final approval. This may mean that you and the insurance company reached an agreement, but other cases resolve without the two sides being able to agree. Either way, the commissioner has the final say. There have been cases where commissioners have rejected agreements, even if both sides agree to the terms.
Workers’ Compensation Benefits
The U.S. Department of Labor reports that workers’ compensation includes several types of benefits. One of them is medical expenses, which provides monetary compensation for your health care, such as getting treatment after your accident and ongoing care. Your benefits also include coverage for lost wages. If you are out of work for a period of time, your benefits can help you recover up to the majority of your average wages that you missed.
Workers’ compensation benefits also provide financial support for vocational rehabilitation and other expenses. That way, you can afford to get the treatment that you need to help you get back to work in some capacity. If you are disabled because of your injuries, you can be compensated over the long term on a sliding scale based on how big of an impact your disability has on your ability to work.
The claims process begins by seeking medical treatment. Once you have been treated for your injuries, you can report your injuries to your employer. Every employer with workers’ compensation insurance must have a method for employees to report their injuries.
There is also a time limit on how long have the file this report, which varies by state. Contact the HR department of your employer, who should be able to give you the appropriate forms or other resources that you need to file a claim.
The claim is sent to the insurance company and the insurance company takes over the handling of your case. The next phase depends on the specifics of your case.
You may likely be offered a settlement agreement from the insurance company. You can accept that settlement agreement or renegotiate to get the compensation that you feel is more appropriate for your situation. If you and the insurance company cannot come to an agreement, you can take your case to trial where a workers’ compensation judge will preside over the proceedings.
There are several ways claims can be settled. The settlement agreement with the insurance company can take several different forms based on how well both parties are able to come to an agreement.
If you are able to agree on terms, the settlement agreement can be completed easily. If you can only agree on a portion of the claims, then you can have a mixed settlement where only a part of your claims are settled and the rest go to trial. Regardless of what you agree on, the settlement must be approved by the oversight commission.
Speak to a Lawyer About Your Case
Protecting your rights for workers’ compensation is an important part of your recovery. You could avoid many financial problems and get back to work with the right type of help. If you need help filing lawsuits or insurance claims or with the overall process, get help from Ben Crump Law, PLLC. Call the offices (800) 603-4224 for a free consultation about your case. We work on a contingency fee basis, so there are no upfront, out-of-pocket costs.