I Have a Work-Related Injury, What are My Rights?

Workplace injuries are common for workers and it poses a great impact on their lives. Along with the pain and suffering there are the financial consequences as well. So it is very important for them to get duly compensated. There are workers’ compensations laws duly formulated to help the workers who get injured on the job. The employees need to have adequate knowledge of the work injury rights in order to get compensated for the injuries they have suffered and help themselves get fully recovered as quickly as possible.

The workers have certain legal rights if they get injured at the workplace. Different states have different laws but there are some general principles applicable in most of the cases. Knowing the legal rights, where the employees and their employer stand, helps both to see things clearly and avoid misunderstandings. We have compiled in brief the work injury rights.

  • Right to medical care

The employee has the right to obtain medical treatment as soon as possible after suffering a work injury. The employer can tell you where to go for the treatment or to see an approved doctor under the workers’ compensation claim. However the worker’s can seek emergency treatment at the hospital if necessary.

  • Right to file for the workers’ compensation

Most of the workers can file for the workers’ compensation and are eligible for benefits under the state’s compensation laws.

  • Right to file other claims for compensation

Whether or not the employee is eligible for workers’ compensation, he has the right to file all other claims that are available to him. In some cases the employees and independent contractors both can file claims against property owners, product manufacturers, contractors and other third parties.

  • Right to calculate your losses independently

The employee can himself calculate for his losses. In case the worker doesn’t receive the full benefits or if the insurance company doesn’t offer a fair settlement, he has the right to keep fighting to collect the rightful amount he is owed.

  • Right to get better

Under the workers’ compensation claim the employee has the right to receive full coverage for his medical treatment needs. The employee doesn’t only have the right to compensation but has the right to get better. The employer can’t force the employee to get back to work before he is fully recovered nor he can fire him if he chooses to follow the doctor’s recommendations.

  • Right to be free from discrimination

The employer should always try to meet the needs of his employees and he can’t treat them differently only because the employee has suffered a work injury.

  • Right to be free from retaliation

The employer can’t take any undue action against his injured employee. The employer can’t legally fire, demote, reduce the pay or take any harsh action if the employee seeks compensation for the work injury. In case of any kind of retaliation the workers’ compensation attorney can ask for reinstatement or additional compensation on the employee’s behalf.

  • Right to fair treatment

The insurance companies should handle the claim in good faith otherwise the attorney can help the employee to seek additional compensation for the bad-faith practices (ignoring relevant evidences, unreasonably delaying the case, misrepresentation of the employee’s legal rights).

  • Right to file an appeal

The employee can take the claim to court if he doesn’t get just compensation through the workers’ compensation claim or through settlement talks.

  • Right to legal representation

The employees have these very important work injury rights where they can hire an attorney for filing the claim. In fact it’s always advisable to take the help of a workers’ compensation attorney to file for the claim and get duly compensated.

Rights against parties other than the employer

Sometimes the worker may be injured by the negligence of a third party such as the designer or the manufacturer of a defective equipment piece or the driver of a delivery truck. The employee has the right to bring a claim against the third party as well for his injury. This is known as ‘third party claims’ and these take the form of civil lawsuits. These are filed in state or federal courts. One benefit under civil lawsuits is that the employee can seek additional personal injury damages that are not recoverable in a workers’ compensation claim.

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