Workers Compensation Laws You Should Really Know
Workers compensation laws are a system of rules in all states of the US that are designed to help workers who are injured or contract an illness as a direct result of the work they are doing. Through this system, employees receive medical benefits, disability benefits, recovery of wages lost and are helped with costs associated with retraining and rehabilitation.
The system is financed by compulsory insurance premium contributions from employers. Each state in the country manages its own workers compensation system. And while the basic principle remains the same, each system will have its own set of workers compensation laws.
The workers compensation laws were put in place to protect both employers as well as employees. The workers compensation laws work to protect employees by ensuring that employers have to compensate them in case of injury or illness caused by the work they do. In return, the law protects employers from litigation from employees in case of injuries on the job.
Like any law, the workers compensation laws also provide certain exceptions for employees. Employees can bypass the workers compensation laws and file a lawsuit for damage under certain circumstances such as:
- The employer or a co-worker purposely caused harm to the employee.
- The employee was injured because the products were defective
- The employee was exposed to toxic substances
The workers compensation laws allow employees to sue third parties such as drivers, landowners as well as sub-contractors.
Claiming workers compensation isn’t as straightforward as it sounds. Employers are allowed to dispute such claims if they feel the claim is not justified. A lot of times, employers dispute claims because their premium amount will increase with each claim paid out.
According to workers compensation laws, after a claim is disputed, it goes to the workers compensation board for review. During this time, the worker will be examined by a state sponsored physician. The medical reports are then examined to check for the validity of the worker’s claims.
If the claim is accepted, the employer must pay the employee the compensation and also accept high premium charges. If the claim is denied, then the employee can go to the next step.
Workers Compensation Laws To File an Appeal
By workers compensation laws, if the board denies a claim, the claimant can file an appeal. This appeal is heard first by the officials of the workers compensation department. Next, it is taken to the administrative law judge.
If the appeal still is denied, then the worker has the right to take his employer to court in a litigation.
The best way to handle a workers compensation claim is by getting some legal advice from an experienced attorney. There are websites that offer free initial claims reviews and help you decide what would be the best option for you. Attorneys who specialize in workers compensation laws will be able to give you the best guidance, especially when the proceedings are contentious and employers are contesting your rightful claim for compensation due to work injuries or illness.