Workplace injuries and accidents are an unfortunate and an expensive fact of life. The Bureau of Labor Statistics in the US reported more than 2.9 million non-fatal workplace injuries or illnesses. Plus, every year, US companies spend more than $65 billion on workplace injuries.
In order to protect workers and employers from all the financial risks involving workplace injuries, almost all states need businesses with workers to have workers’ compensation coverage or insurance.
This coverage helps protect you from lawsuits concerning injuries. It also protects injured employees by covering all the costs associated with disability benefits, lost wages, and injury-related medical bills.
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How the Claim Process Works
Following job-related illnesses or injuries, there is limited time to file workers’ compensation claims and report injuries.
Failure to that may lead to denial of compensation insurance benefits. This is why employers must train all their workers so as to report injuries at work.
You will also be liable for submitting claims to your compensation insurer as an employer. However, you might need to gather all the necessary documentation and details first regarding the incident.
What Really Qualifies as Compensation Claims?
Injuries caused by unexpected incidents or accidents that happen in the course of employment qualify as workers’ compensation claims.
An occupational injury that happens over time, like repetitive trauma injuries, can qualify for compensation benefits.
Workers who got diagnosed with certain illnesses related to types of employment or certain occupations can also be covered by workers’ compensation.
The Actual Process of Workers’ Compensation Claims
Many employers are required to have workers comp or compensation insurance so as to cover their workers who have been injured while in the line of duty.
Workers don’t necessarily have to prove fault so as to recover. Basically, it is a no-fault system, though benefits associated with workers’ compensation claims are definitely not automatic.
The specifics differ from one state to another. But in general, injured workers should notify workers’ comp carriers and employers.
Despite the varying state laws, all injured workers are advised to get the necessary medical treatment. Assuming you got medical care, the claim process may involve the following:
- Notifying your employer in the form of writing
- Filling out official claim forms
- Keeping detailed records concerning your treatment
Workers’ Compensation Benefits
These benefits are available to help workers who have been injured when they are in their line of duty. If you get injured in your workplace, there are several benefits you may get, like vocational rehabilitation. Basically, vocational rehabilitation is usually designed to help individuals who have been disabled or injured at work.
According to NARIC (the National Rehabilitation Information Center), vocational rehabilitation includes help in finding employment, career counseling, and job training. Apart from vocational rehabilitation, other benefits include:
- Death benefits
- Wage benefits
- Medical coverage
Involve an Attorney!
Hearing that a lawyer is involved in workers’ compensation claims can conjure images of courtroom dramas encompassing disputes between insurance firms and injured workers.
However, in reality, this is not how it plays out. If your claims require input from a lawyer, it is usually in the form of offering legal help to everyone involved with the case.