Every employer abides by the laws of workers’ compensation when any of the employees gets injured or suffer losses due to work. Each state and the Federal government have assured that such employees should be subjected to certain insurance benefits in case of workplace injuries. Right from the cost of treatment to the financial losses incurred, a company’s workers’ compensation insurance covers it all. In return for compensation, you lose the right to sue your employer for the workplace hazard that caused you the accident/injury/loss. All you need to keep in mind are the various workers’ compensation eligibility criteria that are listed below-
Workers’ compensation is truly an “employee only” benefit. It means that if you are not categorized as an employee by the company, then you will not be liable for the compensation. On the other hand, if a company categorizes you as an independent contractor or, say, freelancer, you need to take the help of arbitration for disputes in order to get any claim for the injury. So if you are an employee and are being classified as an Independent Contractor by the company just so that they don’t need to pay your claim, you need to connect with available Workers’ compensation lawyers right away!
It is closely observed whether the injury/loss has a connection with the workplace or not. For the defending team, this remains the key to deny the claim as certain health conditions are marked as pre-existing. The most important work here is developing and establishing a connection between the injury/loss and work. For example, suppose a man goes on a trip with tourists as a driver from a Tourism company and suffers from injuries during the same trip; he would be eligible for claim as the injury happened while he was at work. There are instances when people have claimed compensation for pre-existing conditions by showcasing them as work-related. This is a reason why a casual relationship must be established between loss and work to determine the viability of the claim.
While most of the employers have workers’ comp coverage for employees, the decision to offer coverage to employees depends on various factors such as.
Some states ask employers to offer coverage even if they have one employee. There are some states which make coverage mandatory if there are 2-5 employees. In some states, it is seen that employers buy workers’ comp insurance even if it is optional. They do so because in case an employee suffers any injury or damage, the company can pay up for the same. Also, once the company has paid up, there is no option for the worker to file a lawsuit against the employer.
Note- The Federal Government has its own set of workers’ compensation benefits. Hence, if you are a direct Federal government employee, do not check out the state laws as they might be different from the federal law.
You may have ticked every check box in the workers’ compensation claim process, but if you miss your state’s deadline in reporting the injury, you can lose out on the entire claim! Usually, in most states, the deadline to file a workers’ comp claim with the workers’ comp agency is between one to three years. However, there are states such as Wisconsin which offer up to 6 years. Also, for serious injuries such as permanent brain damage, there is no time limit set.
The pain and suffering from a workplace injury can be grave indeed. If you need an expert attorney to assist you with your workers’ comp process, The Legal Helpers is here for help! We connect you with lawyers around your area so that you do not take the added trouble of searching for one.