5 Questions To Consider When You'Ve Been Injured At Work
Getting injured on the job brings a lot of stress and anxiety, especially if you are unable to return to work immediately. Workers' compensation is designed to reimburse employees when they can't work or need to pay for medical bills. If you've been injured at work, check out these five important questions you must consider.
What Steps Should You Take First?
As soon as you've been injured, you should report the injury to your supervisor or manager, so it is documented. Next, start a workers' compensation claim form. In some cases, your injury may not be covered. For example, you were breaking rules when you got injured. However, it's always better to file the claim as soon as possible, so if you are covered, you can get your money sooner. Last, see a doctor immediately so you know the extent of your injuries. If you leave work early to see a doctor, your employer should reimburse you for the hours you worked, and if you qualify for workers' compensation, it will cover the hours you missed to see the doctor.
Do You need a Workers' Compensation Lawyer?
Whether or not you need a workers compensation lawyer is a tricky question. It's always a good idea to hire an attorney if you think your injuries are more extensive than they seem or they will have underlying issues. Unfortunately, it's often difficult to determine the extent of your injury. If you break your wrist at work, you may assume that once it's healed, you'll be fine, but you may develop arthritis or have limited mobility, requiring you to undergo physical therapy. When in doubt, hire a compensation lawyer, so you have all your bases covered and get every cent you deserve and need.
How Much Money Will You Receive?
How much money you get depends on many factors. Part of the money you receive is based on your income. Typically, workers' compensation pays two-thirds of your average wages. You'll also be reimbursed for medical expenses to treat the injury. If the injury permanently disables you, you may also receive a permanent disability settlement. Last, if the injury makes it impossible for you to return to your old job, you'll likely receive vocational rehabilitation benefits so you can learn new skills to perform a new job.
What if You Can't Return to Your Job?
While you're injured, you are considered temporarily disabled, which means your employer cannot discriminate against you by firing you, except in two instances. First, if it's clear form your medical information that you won't be able to return to your current job, your employer can terminate you. Depending on state law, they may have to offer you an alternative position or offer vocational rehabilitation benefits. The other instance your employer may be able to fire you is if the business needs someone in your position while you recover; however, it's more common that they simply hire a temporary employee until you can return.
Can You Sue for Your Injury?
In some cases, you may be allowed to sue for your injuries. You typically can't sue your employer for injuries. The workers' compensation employers carry protects them against lawsuits. However, if your employer doesn't carry workers' compensation benefits, you may be able to sue. You may also be allowed to sue if the employer intentionally caused your injuries. In cases involving third parties, you may also be allowed to sue. If you were using a defective product or toxic substance during your job, and it caused an injury, you can usually sue the manufacturer.
There are many rules and regulations regarding workers' compensation, and guessing the extent of an injury is complicated, which is why hiring a workers' compensation lawyer is always a good idea. If you're ready to seek reimbursement, contact a lawyer like Franco Law Firm.