What happens when you’re injured at work? Who pays for your medical bills?
Every state requires businesses to carry some sort of worker’s compensation insurance. This policy pays out to cover medical bills, rehabilitative care expenses, and cash benefits. It doesn’t matter who is at fault, this insurance simply is in place to cover the expenses if something happens to a worker on the job.
Unfortunately, workplace accidents and receiving proper compensation isn’t always cut and dried. Here’s what you need to know.
Report All Workplace Accidents
Even if you’re not injured in a workplace accident, you should always report an incident immediately. The information could help your employer make adjustments to company worker safety policies to ensure the same type of accident doesn’t happen again.
Additionally, the symptoms of some injuries may not appear until a few days or weeks after the incident. Having your accident on file helps your chances of receiving benefits to pay for your expenses.
If you are injured, it is critical to report it as soon as possible. In many states, if you don’t report the injury within a certain time period, you may forfeit your workers’ comp. Insurance companies are notorious for trying to get out of paying a claim and this is just one of their many tricks to do so. Insurance lawyers are available to help if you think your company is illegitimately denying your claim (or offering a reduced payout).
See a Doctor
Additionally, you’ll want to see a doctor as soon as possible after the workplace accident. If the accident is serious enough, don’t hesitate to go straight to the emergency room. Even if it doesn’t seem that serious, a trip to the emergency room will ensure that the appropriate information is on file.
Alternatively, if your company has medical staff or a designated first-aid person on hand you can go to see them. You can always seek out your own medical care or a second opinion after the fact if you feel that it is necessary.
What Are Your Legal Rights?
If your employer is specifically at fault for the workplace accident, you may be eligible to recover damages from them. This depends on the state you live in. A handful of states do not allow this.
If your employer is not carrying the required worker’s compensation you can file a personal injury suit against them. You must prove they were at fault to receive damages.
What if you were injured because of a defective product? You may be able to sue the manufacturer for damages.
If you were injured because of the actions (or inaction) of a third party, you are able to bring a personal lawsuit against them.
If you were intoxicated or on drugs at the time of the incident, you will likely be denied coverage. This is why many employers will require a drug test immediately after an accident.
Know Your Rights Relating to Workplace Injuries
Workplace accidents and the resulting injuries are a big deal. Medical bills can easily shoot through the roof and you may not have the means to pay for them. We hope this article has helped you understand your rights and what you should do in case of an accident.
Interested to learn more tidbits of information? Check out more of our blogs!