How A Personal Injury Attorney Can Help With Workers Compensation Claims
Personal injury can occur anywhere, but in many instances, such injuries are sustained at one’s place of work. If one has been injured on the job, he or she may have heard something about workers compensation. The latter is a type of insurance that is designed to cover medical and disability expenses that would otherwise have to be paid by the person’s employer if the worker was injured on the job. In addition, it also covers illnesses resulting from a polluted or hazardous work environment.
Insurance of this kind was ultimately created to protect companies from being sued if a worker sustains an injury or illness on the job. In other words, the person is reimbursed for medical bills and is usually also compensated by weekly benefit checks in exchange for not pursuing legal action against the company or employer.
It is easy to see that this arrangement is advantageous for both the worker and the company. However, in some cases, a person may need the help of a lawyer to manage the workers compensation claim.
Companies are legally required to provide safe work environments for their staff. Making sure that employees know how to safely execute their job duties is also required by law. Adequate training and education must be offered by the employer and workers must be supervised by an appropriate person under certain circumstances. Additionally, if the job requires the use of tools or machinery, these objects must be properly maintained and in good working order at all times.
Employers are also responsible to warn their workers about potentially dangerous machinery and offer full training to those who may come in contact with hazardous materials. The company must establish and enforce safety measures as well, and create rules and regulations for staff members that are appropriate for their industry.
Workers Compensation Benefits and Coverage
While the limits of certain benefits differ from one state to the next, the general benefits categories remain the same. Workers compensation insurance typically covers the medical treatment and medications the injured worker receives without any deductible to the employee and without any limit.
In addition, a lost wages benefit is typically paid following a waiting period. Both vocational and physical rehabilitation services are covered under this type of insurance as well, to ensure that monetary hardship from lost wages is minimized and the person is able to return to work as soon as possible.
Finally, in the unfortunate event that an employee dies because of his or her work related illness or injury, there are typically some nominal death benefits paid to the employee’s estate.
Obtaining Professional Advice
Although applying for workers compensation is not necessarily a complicated process, there are certain pitfalls associated with filing a claim. For example, some companies may try to pressure an employee into forfeiting his or her rights with regard to weekly benefit checks. In other cases, complexities arise from the insurance companies themselves, and the insurer may ultimately attempt to stop making the provisional payments. This would require the injured person to contest the decision in order to resume his or her payments. If this occurs, it is never wise to proceed without a qualified attorney.
A personal injury lawyer experienced with workers compensation law can assist clients to build their case and negotiate with insurance providers. An upfront retainer is rarely needed, as most personal injury lawyers work on a contingent fee. This means a specific fee is deducted from the amount of each compensation check the worker receives. It is virtually always in the best interest of any injured individual to seek the advice of an experienced attorney who understands workers compensation insurance and can manage all facets of the claim.
Christopher is an avid blogger from Tulsa, Oklahoma who is passionate about encouraging safe work practices for all workplace environments while working with the Gorospe & Smith Tulsa Personal Injury Attorney Firm in his community.