Worker's compensation is a government-mandated insurance program that offers assistance to employees that are injured while on the clock. Every state has its own workers’ compensation laws and requirements for eligibility, but in general, if an employee has been injured while at work and performing the regular functions of their job, they are eligible to recover worker's compensation for their injuries.
What Injuries Are Covered Under Workers Compensation?
If an employee is injured or killed while on the clock or becomes sick because of occupational exposure, they can file a worker's compensation claim with their employer to receive worker's compensation benefits. In most states, if a person has more than four employees, they are required to have workers compensation insurance and provide the necessary claim forms to injured employees when an accident occurs.
Some of the more common types of workers compensation injuries include:
- Slip and fall injuries such as broken bones, fractures, and lacerations
- Occupational exposure to toxic and hazardous materials
- Construction equipment injuries
- Head trauma, spinal cord damage, and injuries from overuse
- Mesothelioma, Asbestos, and other illnesses from unsafe work conditions
Many other injuries and illnesses are covered under worker's compensation, but it can be difficult to determine in some cases whether your injuries or illnesses qualify. With help from an experienced workers compensation lawyer, it can quickly be determined whether you have a valid worker's compensation claim and if you do, what type of damages you could be eligible to recover via worker's compensation benefits.
Is My Employer Required to Have Workers Compensation Insurance?
Worker's compensation laws vary from state to state, but on average, if an employer has four or more employees they are required to purchase worker's compensation insurance. If a business doesn’t have workers compensation insurance but is required to, and an employee is injured at work, the employee can sue the employer for damages, the employer could face hefty fines for not having workers compensation insurance, and depending on the severity of the accident, the employer could face jail time for their negligence.
How Can I Recover Workers Compensation?
If you or someone you know has been injured while at work, and you are unsure how to proceed with your claim, don’t worry. If a business is required to have workers compensation insurance, you are injured on the clock, you have approximately 30 days to report the incident, and from that time, your employer has up to 48 hours to forward your claim to the insurance company. Once the necessary forms have been submitted, an investigation will begin.
During a worker's compensation investigation, your medical records, accident reports, and other documentation that you submitted will be examined and used when deciding to accept or deny your claim. In most states, a decision must be made within 14-30 days from the time of submission. If your claim is approved, you should begin to receive benefits within two weeks of your claim’s approval, but if it’s denied, you’ll have the choice to appeal your claim.
Worker's compensation claims can be denied for many reasons, including not reporting an injury within your state’s specified timeframe, employer dispute, no medical treatment for your injuries, and a lack of evidence. If your claim is denied, you have the choice to appeal the decision, but this isn’t easily done without substantial legal knowledge.
A Workers Compensation Lawyer knows the appropriate procedure for appealing a claim, whether your state has a deadline for appealing, and most importantly if it’s in your case’s best interest to appeal. If your lawyer thinks it’s a good idea to appeal, they can help you gather compelling evidence, develop a strong claim, and defend your claim against the insurance company.
Speak with a Workers Compensation Lawyer Today
If you are unsure whether your accident qualifies for worker's compensation, or your workers’ compensation claim was denied, you need an experienced lawyer. A lawyer can provide support during this physically, emotionally, and financially difficult time, and make sure that your case has the best odds of recovering compensation.
Christopher Dixon and the Workers Compensation Lawyers at the Dixon Injury Firm are ready to fight for your case, and demand compensation for your workplace accident injuries. If your worker's compensation claim was denied, or you aren’t sure if you are eligible to receive benefits, call (314) 208-2808, or contact the Dixon Injury Firm today to schedule a free consultation and explore the options available to your worker's compensation case.