Workers’ compensation was designed to protect workers and to cover medical costs and lost pay if you miss work due to on-the-job injuries. Here are some important things every worker should know about workers’ compensation:
1) Not Everyone Is Included.
By law, most employers must buy workers’ compensation insurance. However, workers’ compensation doe not cover everyone while they are at work. Agricultural workers, domestic workers and independent contractors are often excluded.
2) Who Is Included?
To be covered by workers’ compensation, you must be an employee and be accidentally injured while doing your job. You can also get coverage if you get sick from doing your job, like being exposed to asbestos during construction.
3) Ask Your Employer To Explain Your Workers’ Compensation If You Don’t Understand.
Be sure you understand your worker’s compensation rights. Your employer will usually have a brochure explaining workers’ compensation. Get it, read it and ask questions if you don’t understand.
4) Every Injury Or Illness Must Be Reported.
Every injury or illness must be reported to the HR department or supervisor when it occurs. Paperwork or a call from an insurance adjuster should occur within a short period of time. Follow up with your boss if these things do not happen.
5) Make Sure To Visit The Right Medical Office.
In most cases, if your injury is an emergency, you will go where the ambulance takes you. In a non-emergency, your employer may direct you to a particular hospital, clinic or doctor. Go where your employer tells you or your bills may not be covered by workers’ compensation.
6) Be Sure Your Medical Professionals Know That You Were Injured While At Work.
When you’re filling out the paperwork at the hospital or doctor’s office, be sure your medical professionals know that your injury happened at work.
If you choose to visit your own doctor, make sure that they are approved or certified to do workers’ compensation claims.
7) Your Medical Records Need To Include All Information About Your Injuries
Your medical records should detail the history and circumstances of your injury or illness. Be sure they list every body part involved as workers’ compensation benefits won’t cover body parts that aren’t listed.
8) Do Not Drink Or Do Drugs At Work.
Most employers require a drug and alcohol test immediately after an accident. If you test positive for either substances, your worker’s compensation claim will be denied.
9) Avoid Horseplay.
Actions that are not within the scope of your employment or that may be beyond actions of a normal, reasonable or prudent person could result in denial of worker’s compensation benefits. If you don’t know if something is horseplay, then don’t do it! It is not worth an injury that could result in lost wages or loss of a job.
10) You Might Need An Attorney.
Individual states set their own workers’ compensation payouts, so there isn’t much room for you to get more or less than you deserve for your injuries.
You should be aware that workers’ compensation attorneys usually take around 20 percent of your settlement, so don’t hire one unless you absolutely need one, have a complex claim or you feel you were unfairly denied payment of medical bills related to your injury.
11) Most Worker’s Compensation Claims Are Small
The average maximum workers’ comp benefit for lost pay is under a thousand dollars a week.
12) Fraudulent Claimers Usually Get Caught.
Falsely claiming worker’s compensation is a crime and those who claim falsely are punished with fines and possible jail time. Because it is so prevalent, insurers and employers regularly make home visits, do surveillance and see if anyone else is contributing to your Social Security or other income.
Let J. Price McNamara Help You With Your Worker’s Compensation Case
If you or a loved one has recently suffered from an injury while at work, you may be entitled to compensation. Companies and employers usually have experienced lawyers working hard for them. You need an aggressive personal injury attorney with knowledge of Louisiana law to getting you the money you deserve in your case. J. Price McNamara has been practicing law in Louisiana for many years and has handled many cases just like yours. The legal team at the Law Offices of J. Price McNamara is waiting to help you with your case. Call us today to schedule your free case review and get an experienced worker’s compensation attorney on your side.