Workers’ compensation laws require employers to carry insurance that will compensate their employees for any work-related injury or illness they suffer––regardless of fault. All states have a workers’ compensation statute (or something similar) that significantly streamlines the normal litigation process, thereby assisting injured workers to obtain medical treatment and other benefits more quickly.
The Federal Government also has a workers’ compensation law that provides benefits to workers who are employed by the Federal Government itself. Federal workers’ compensation is mainly governed by the Federal Employment Compensation Act, which applies only to nonmilitary federal employees and is similar to state workers’ compensation laws in all aspects, except that it only provides benefits when a worker is permanently disabled or dies.
What Benefits Are Available Under Workers’ Compensation?
Because each state has its own workers’ compensation law, they vary from state to state. In general, however, workers’ compensation will provide the following benefits to an injured employee:
1. Paid medical treatment;
2. Up to 2/3 of your regular salary until you return to work;
3. Compensation for any permanent disabilities or limitation; and sometimes;
4. Occupational Retraining.
Furthermore, in some states, workers’ compensation will provide benefits to a worker’s family if that worker is permanently disabled or dies as a result of a work-related accident or illness.
What Injuries Are Covered Under Workers’ Compensation
Workers’ compensation covers virtually any work-related accident that causes a serious injury. It also covers work-related illnesses like mesothelioma, which can take years to develop. The most important thing, however, is that the injury or illness must be work-related.
If you suffer an injury or becomes ill as a result of doing your job or something that benefits your employer, you will be entitled to receive workers’ compensation benefits. This includes injuries or illnesses that result from activities that take place away from your company’s premises if these activities are part of your job.
What Injuries Are Not Covered Under Workers’ Compensation?
In general, workers’ compensation will not cover injuries that occur under the following situations:
- You were not at work
- You were engaged in activities that are not work-related
- The injury or illness was caused by your own misconduct
- You injure yourself deliberately
Who is Eligible To Receive Workers’ Compensation Benefits?
Generally, only workers who are considered employees are eligible to receive workers’ compensation benefits. Sole proprietors, household workers, farm laborers, volunteers workers, and independent contractors are not eligible for workers’ compensation benefits.
Employers will sometimes misclassify an employee (intentionally or otherwise) as an independent contractor. When this happens, the employee can lose out on a lot of benefits that they would otherwise be entitled to receive. If you suspect that you have been misclassified as independent contractor, contact a qualified workers’ compensation attorney for assistance in receiving the benefits you are lawfully entitled to receive.
Why You Need A Workers’ Compensation Attorney
An attorney who specializes in workers’ compensation claims can help you focus on what is important to you— your health and your claim— but will do the hard work of moving your claim through the process more quickly and efficiently. Your workers’ compensation attorney also will protect your interests so you get the maximum benefits guaranteed under law.
When you have the assistance of an experienced workers’ compensation attorney your claim will be managed by someone who knows what to anticipate and how to prepare for challenges. An experienced workers’ compensation attorney will be able to reasonably predict the likely next steps that must be taken to keep your claim moving along in the process. This will relieve you of the stress of not knowing what you have to do next and enable you to be prepared to move quickly when the process demands it.
Of course, no amount of legal assistance will guarantee that everything will go your way, but hiring an experienced workers’ compensation lawyer will definitely prepare you to address any challenges that may arise during the life of your claim. Ultimately, though an attorney may take a fee, it will be worth paying, especially if your workers’ compensation benefits are denied or delayed.
CONTACT THE HAYES FIRM TO FIND A WORKERS COMPENSATION ATTORNEY IN YOUR STATE
Workers’ compensation law can be complicated. Consulting with an experienced workers’ compensation lawyer can help to ensure that you receive the maximum amount of benefits payable to you under your state’s workers’ compensation law.
For help with finding an experienced workers’ compensation lawyer in your area, contact The Hayes Firm here or give us a call toll free at 1-800-603-6833 for a no-cost, no-obligation consultation.