If you've been injured on the job, it's likely that you've heard or read a number of myths surrounding workers' compensation. Below are three such myths and the truths behind them.
1. I Need to Prove That My Employer Was At Fault
An injured worker will never have to prove the fault of their employer, as injured workers are protected by workers' compensation law.
If you're injured while performing a work-related task, you're likely covered by workers' compensation and are not required to prove fault or negligence. If you're injured while performing a job task, all you're required to do is visit your doctor, file a workers' compensation claim, and report the injury to your employer.
2. All Injuries On Site Will Be Covered
It's important to understand that while workers' compensation law strongly favors the employee, there are a few instances when workers' compensation cannot be granted, even if an injury occurred at the place of work.
A common example of workers' compensation not covering an injury is misconduct. If you, the employee, are injured due to your own misconduct – such as breaking company rules or operating machinery while intoxicated – your workers' compensation claim may not be approved. There are exceptions, of course, such as your boss knowing about and allowing the horseplay that led to your injury. In such an instance, you'd likely be covered under workers' compensation. It's important to understand, however, that the no-fault aspects of workers' compensation do have a limit, and gross negligence on your part is one such limit.
3. My Employer Can Deny My Workers' Comp Claim
After the workers' compensation claim has been filed and you've notified your employer within your state's mandated time period, the claim is out of your employer's hands and they have no say in your claim's approval or denial.
While your employer has no say in the final outcome of your claim, it is possible for them to challenge that claim. There are a number of reasons your employer may dispute your claim, but their disputing it does not mean it's denied. If your employer has disputed your claim, or your claim was denied by your employer's insurance company, it's important to consult with a workers' compensation lawyer who can help you to fight for the benefits you deserve.
To learn more about your rights and how to go about filing a workers' compensation claim or appealing a workers' compensation decision, consult with a local workers' compensation attorney immediately, such as Lovett Schefrin Harnett.