Employers must provide employees with a healthy and safe environment to work in.

However, in some cases, employers fail to uphold this responsibility and, as a result of which, employees sustain an injury at work. They may receive injuries even when their employer has put in all the effort to ensure a safe workplace.

Injuries can include everything, from occupational illnesses and worsening pre-existing conditions to psychological problems.

Every state has an established system to help employees with an injury at the workplace. This system comprises workers’ rights. This post looks into these rights in detail.

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injury at work

What happens if you get injured at work?

From a legal perspective, the first thing you should do is protect your legal rights, and you do it by reporting the injury to your employer.

Do it possibly on the same day because most states have a specific time frame within which you should report your injury. It is the same day for some.

While, for others, it may be within the following few days.

It may not always be possible because the circumstances can differ. But you must report the injury as quickly as you can.

The second step to protect your rights is to consult a worker’s compensation lawyer and file a claim with the workers’ compensation court or industrial court.

It puts the employer, their employer’s insurance company, and the court on a formal notice about the incident and injury. When you file your claim, some automatic rights protections are initiated.

What are your rights for an on-job injury?

Workers’ compensation laws differ from one state to another. Employee rights and legal procedures to protect the rights vary widely.

However, some legal rights are the same across all states.

  • You have the right to hire a lawyer to represent you throughout the process.
  • You have the right to consult with a doctor and pursue treatment.
  • You have the right to file a claim for your injuries in the workers’ compensation court or industrial court.
  • You have the right to appeal a decision of your employer, their insurance company, or the workers’ compensation court if you disagree with it.
  • You have the right to disability compensation if you cannot return to work permanently or temporarily because of your injury or illness.
  • You have the right to return to your job if your physician releases you.

As an employee, you must understand your right to refuse requests or offers if you want to understand your right to act.

For instance, you have the right to say no if you were injured at the workplace and your employer wants you to pay for medical treatment using your health insurance. Likewise, you have the right to say no if your employer offers an incentive to encourage you against filing a workers’ compensation claim.

The law stands with you in every state so that you can pursue a workers’ compensation claim without fear of harassment or reprisal from your employer.

The law imposes severe penalties on employers who create obstructions for employees in exercising their rights freely.

claim injury compensation

What are your rights against other parties?

There are cases of employees receiving an injury on the job caused by another party’s negligence, which is not the employer.

This third party may be the delivery truck driver or the designer/manufacturer of a faulty piece of equipment. Sustaining injuries at work due to a third party’s negligence gives you the right to file a third-party claim against the person or entity.

These claims are not usually part of the workers’ compensation area. They are instead civil lawsuits you need to file in a state or federal court.

You can claim additional compensation for personal injury damages in a civil lawsuit that a workers’ compensation claim does not recover.

For instance, the benefits a workers’ compensation claim gives you is reimbursement for lost wages and medical expenses. You cannot seek compensation for pain and suffering. However, you can seek compensation for pain and suffering in a third-party claim, which comes under non-economic damages.

Final words

Consulting with an experienced personal injury attorney can add the advantage you need to your work injury case. They are professionals with decades of experience and can guide you throughout the process.

Useful Related Article: A Detailed Account of Workers Compensation Settlement

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