An employer is mandated to make the workplace safe for the employee. However, this is not always the case. Workers are often exposed to harm that can jeopardize their safety and well-being. If you have been a victim of a workplace accident, the best thing to do is to contact a workers’ compensation attorney near you. Compensation can make up for all the physical, emotional, and financial trauma that you experience while on the job.
In this article, we’ll give you a rundown of everything you need to know about a workers compensation claim.
What is Workers Compensation?
Workers’ compensation is a government-approved system that enables a worker to recover from work-related hazards with as little hassle as possible. This program mandates that the employer (or any third party responsible for the harm) pay a compensatory fee to the affected worker.
There are a few criteria that determine one’s eligibility for this compensation.
- First, you must be a worker at the time of the injury or illness
- You also must prove that you were working for the sued employer at the time of your injury or illness
- Your medical records must also be present to show the impact of the injury or illness on your overall welfare
As part of the compensation, you would be eligible for any of the following benefits that apply to your situation:
- Medical coverage
- Temporary disability benefits
- Permanent disability benefits
- Wage coverage
- Death benefits
What Does the Process Entail?
While getting compensation is legal, you cannot bypass the stress and mental strain involved in the process if you choose to navigate it alone. Your best shot at a seamless process would be to hire an experienced attorney who can hold your hand through the ordeal. Nonetheless, here are the steps you would need to take:
- Inform your employer that you will be suing for compensation
- Then, you have to collect the workers’ compensation form. The workers’ compensation form may vary from state to state. For example, if you are a resident of California, you can get a WC-14 form from the California Workers’ Compensation Appeals Board website.
- Wait for the board to contact your employer.
- Your attorney now has to navigate the rest of the legal process to get you your due compensation.
What Should You Do After Your Appeal Is Filed?
The court might either rule in your favor or against you. In any case, your attorney would be there to help you navigate through the next course of action. If the jury approves your appeal, there will be a sitting to arrange terms of compensation. During this meeting, both your employer’s lawyer and yours would be present to agree on the best middle ground.
However, if the ruling is not in your favor, your attorney would take up the case with the Workers’ Compensation Appeals Board and hoard evidence attesting to the fact that you deserve your due compensation.
Common Problems You Would Likely Face
Aside from the court not ruling in your favor, there are other setbacks that you might face during the ordeal. Here are a few of them:
- Delayed payment
- Termination of appointment
- Demotion from work
- Harassment from the employer
- Inability to understand your legal options
Regardless of what your employer throws at you, your attorney will be a shield that safeguards your rights from being exploited.