While injured employees are covered, they relinquish the right to sue their employers for negligence – in personal injury cases.
Although employees are covered for the losses they suffer as a result of injuries on the job, their compensation is less comprehensive than it would be under personal injury law. The basic elements of coverage under workers’ compensation include the following:
The kinds of injuries that are commonly sustained at work vary considerably, and while some jobs are more dangerous than others, virtually any work setting can lead to injury-causing accidents – including offices. Common kinds of accidents on the job include all the following:
One of the most dangerous fields out there is construction work, and workers’ compensation claims are not uncommon. OSHA has identified four of the deadliest categories of construction accidents, which include the following:
Construction workers face many risk factors in the course of their work, and their workers’ compensation claims tend to be large and complex.
Injured workers are entitled to benefits regardless of fault – but the benefits are limited and often do not cover victims’ full range of losses like a personal injury claim could. In some cases, victims can sue after a work-related accident, such as when the accident was the result of a third party. For example, if you were injured by a negligent driver while you were at work, you could file a claim against that driver.
The damages you can seek in a personal injury lawsuit include all the following:
The workers’ compensation insurance provider that handles your claim is paid to compensate you for your covered losses, but its priority is profits, which means its goal is limiting your settlement. In fact, there are several common tactics that you should be aware of.
If you’re offered an early settlement, it may be an attempt to finalize your claim before the full extent of your injuries has been determined. It’s ill-advised to accept a settlement offer prior to carefully discussing the matter with a dedicated workers’ compensation attorney who is up to speed with the circumstances of your case. Once accepted, you’ll have no further legal recourse in relation to fair compensation for the losses you’ve sustained.
The workers’ comp insurance company may deny your claim out of hand, which can be especially discouraging. If this happens to you, however, it’s important to know that it doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s the end of the line for your claim. Insurance coverage is regulated by strict laws, and there are further steps you can take. Ultimately, the law – and not the insurance company – will determine if you’re entitled to coverage.
While workers’ compensation is designed specifically to speed up the claims process for injured employees, some providers, nevertheless, drag out or overcomplicate things to the degree that injured claimants are inclined to give up.
Having a workers’ compensation lawyer in your corner can mean the difference between obtaining just compensation and failing to do so.
The accident that caused you to be injured is as unique as your workers’ compensation claim, but there are certain steps every claimant can take to help ensure an advantageous outcome. These include: