You probably don’t think about protecting yourself from an injury that you sustain on the job until it happens. Luckily, employers over a certain size in the U.S. are required to pay worker’s compensation insurance. This is a requirement set out by the US Department of Labor. This type of insurance should be able to cover work-related injuries or illnesses.
Not every employer is required to have this type of insurance benefits. Usually the employers type and size are the two main factors determining this. For example, in some states, employers that are not in the construction or agriculture business, but have more than 4 employees (this also includes the business owner) must have workers’ compensation insurance. And for businesses that are in the construction industry, they must have this type of insurance even if they have one employee.
Worker’s compensation benefits – how are they awarded?
Immediately after you sustain an injury at work, you should seek medical attention. As soon as you’re able to, you would also file a workers’ compensation claim. When filing the claim, make sure that you describe the event as detailed as possible, what happened before, during and after the incident. And of course don’t leave out any injuries that you sustained.
Your employer is required by law to report the incident and injuries to their insurance provider. Furthermore, they must also provide for you all the necessary form for your workers’ compensation and send the claim to their insurance carrier. The employer must also inform the insurance company when you return back to work and if any consolations were made.
In most cases, minor workers’ compensations aren’t contested and those employees will be paid for their lost wages and medical bills. But, in the event that the compensation case is large, it might be denied simply because the insurance provider is looking for a way to pay less.
If your workers’ compensation claim is denied, then there are options for mediation, arbitration and if that fails, even going to trial. The goal of the insurance provider is to increase its profit as much as possible, so it’s no surprise that they sometimes deny a perfectly merited claim. If this happens, there are of course other means of actions that you can take in order to be compensated for your medical bills and time lost from work.
What if your claim is denied?
The workers’ compensation claim will ask you to explain how your injuries occurred and to describe them in detail. Information on your injuries and medical treatment will be documented and you might need to do this several times throughout the process.
The attorney representing the insurance company will try to downplay the case, showing that the injuries are partially a result of some preexisting condition. They might even try to present your injuries as less severe and that they don’t affect your life in the way you describe. If your compensation claim reaches the stage of negotiation/mediation with the insurance company, hiring a personal injury lawyer who has experience with workers’ compensation cases can be really helpful.
If you sustained injuries at work and your employer’s insurance company denied your claim, contact Schenk Podolsky and let our team of experienced personal injury lawyers represent you and get you the compensation that you deserve.