Getting hurt at work can be stressful. Having to deal with the Workers’ Compensation insurance carrier can be challenging and knowing your rights is important. Below are some of the frequently asked questions we encounter.
CAN I SUE MY EMPLOYER?
You cannot sue your employer, but you can seek Worker’s Compensation Benefits from them for any injury you received at your workplace, even if it was your fault.
CAN I SUE ANYONE ELSE FOR MY INJURIES?
YES! In many workplace injuries there was another party that was responsible for your injury. Common examples where someone else is responsible are: a car accident, a defective product, or another contractor failed to do something or did something that caused your injury. It’s important to have a lawyer evaluate your case to see if another party is responsible or partly responsible for your injury,
HOW LONG DO I HAVE TO REPORT MY INJURY?
You should report your injury immediately. However, the Workers’ Compensation Act Section 311 requires that notice of an injury be given within twenty-one (21) days after it occurs, or at the latest, within 120 days of the injury.
WHAT TYPES OF DAMAGES DOES WORKERS COMPENSATION COVER?
Workers’ Compensation covers the vast majority of injuries, even if you are at fault. Medical bills and lost wages are covered. It does NOT cover pain and suffering. It will cover injures to a pre-existing condition: meaning if you injured your back 5 years ago and have not had any issues since but something at work causes you to reinjure your back, you should be covered under workers compensation.
CAN I WORK PART-TIME WHILE OUT ON WORKERS COMPENSATION?
Yes, but this will reduce the value/amount you can recover in your case.
HOW LONG CAN I RECEIVE BENEFITS?
There is no time limit set for how long you can receive benefits. Benefit are usually provided until the worker is ready to go back to work or settles their case. However, most employers will try to limit how long you can receive workers compensation benefits by challenging the reasonableness or necessity of the care you receive, arguing it is no longer necessary.
MY EMPLOYER TOLD ME THEY WILL NOT FIGHT ME ON MY CASE
Unfortunately, that is a common misperception. Employers always like employees until they file for Workers Compensation benefits. Usually, it is your employer’s insurance company that provides the financial benefits you receive and pays your medical bills not your employer. Therefore, it is the insurance company that makes the decisions in your case, not your employer.
DO I NEED A LAWYER FOR MY WORKERS COMPENSATION CASE?
The simple answer is YES. The insurance company for your employer will have a lawyer, so should you. The insurance company will try repeatedly to minimize your injury or claim you can work when you cannot so it is important to have someone who knows the law and can move your case along.
At The Law Offices of Thomas More Holland we specialize in workplace injuries and Workers Compensation Law. If you have been injured at work or know someone who has and needs help, please contact us. There is no fee for your initial consultation.