If you've been hurt at work and needed medical care or lost wages because of it, consider filing a workers' compensation claim. Workers' compensation is a type of insurance your employer should have that covers workers who get hurt on the job. When your claim is approved, your medical care is paid for, so it's important to apply since medical care is expensive and adds up fast. Here are details to know about workers' compensation.
You Can Work With a Lawyer
You can file a workers' compensation claim yourself with your employer or you can hire a lawyer to help you through the process. If you have a significant injury and have costly medical bills, you may feel more comfortable hiring a lawyer so you have a better chance of getting the amount of money you need for your care.
If you file yourself and your claim is denied or you're offered a much lower settlement than you need, consider talking to a workers' compensation lawyer to make sure you're being treated fairly or to help you appeal the denial. If your injury was minor but still resulted in emergency room care and medical bills, filing may be simple if your employer is cooperative. In that case, you may feel comfortable filing a claim yourself.
Coverage Includes Medical Bills and Wages
You shouldn't be billed for any of your care when you use workers' compensation insurance. Your employer's insurance company pays the hospital directly. If you miss work because of your injury, workers' compensation should also cover your lost wages up to a certain percentage. It may be difficult to know how much you should be entitled to if you have to factor in future medical care and lost income. A lawyer may need to bring in medical professionals to help estimate the cost of your future care.
Your Employer Isn't Allowed To Punish You
Employers and their insurance companies must abide by the laws that govern workers' compensation claims, but they aren't always eager to cooperate and be generous. However, your employer isn't allowed to fire you or put you in a job that pays less just because you filed a claim. When this happens, you could have a case against them.
Your employer should provide information about how to file a workers' compensation claim. You can also get help from a lawyer if your employer isn't very cooperative. You can even contact your state's workers' compensation division to learn about your rights and to get help from an ombudsman if you need it.