Despite numerous advances in safety through the years, the possibility of being injured at work still remains. Injuries are more prevalent in high-risk industries such as mining and construction, but they may happen to anyone in cases of emergencies. Because of this, it is mandated by law that all employers must have a workers’ compensation policy in place for all employees.
Workers’ compensation insurance is a program that employers purchase for any injuries or illnesses related to employment. While the specific coverage of workers’ compensation depends on each state’s respective insurance programs, the range of incidents covered is very broad, and workers usually receive benefits regardless of who was at fault for the occurrence of the injury. However, there are limits to the coverage. For example, claims may be denied as a result of being under the influence of drugs or alcohol when the injury occurred, or if the injury was self-inflicted.
If you become a victim of a workplace-related injury, here is what you can do:
1. Claim your benefits under the workers’ compensation program.
Claiming your benefits can actually be quite straightforward, especially for minor injuries that are suffered at work. In such cases where no major medical procedures are required and that do not result in much time lost from work, it is easy to avail of claims, as these will not be disputed by the insurance companies.
Costs that are covered by workers’ compensation include medical care (including visits to the doctor), replacement income, and survivors’ benefits for dependents of workers who are killed on the job.
Workers’ compensation benefits may also be applied to injuries or disabilities that develop over time and are a direct result from the job that was being performed, although these might involve lengthier processing times and effort. Examples of such injuries include carpal tunnel syndrome, back injuries, or brain diseases.
Any benefits received are not taxed, but claiming any benefits means that the injured party is prohibited from filing a lawsuit against the employer. Moreover, workers’ compensation does not apply to independent contractors and volunteers.
2. Go through the process if your claim is denied.
Sometimes, availing of benefits due to workers’ compensation is not as straightforward. In such cases, disputes with the insurance company may arise, and you may require the help of a workplace injury attorney. In Utah and throughout the United States, this is becoming an increasingly popular option to ensure that workers are able to get the benefits due them.
Claims may be denied for a variety of reasons. Some of the most common ones include having a pre-existing condition that affects the same body part that was injured or having to undergo invasive and expensive medical treatments. In such cases, lawyers can help convince the insurance company of the validity of your case and put pressure on them to approve your claim.
Workplace injury attorneys may also provide assistance in aspects not related to disputes with insurance companies. They can also help you maximize your benefits by instructing you on how to use these wisely. Moreover, in cases where the injury has affected your ability to continue to work in your current job, a lawyer may also help you get retrained for you to shift careers, and even convince the insurance company to cover the costs for this as well.
While nobody wishes to be injured at work, it is good to know that there are options should this occur. It is best that you be prepared for any eventuality so that when something unfortunate happens, you are prepared to deal with the situation properly.