What You Need To Know About Workers Compensation
The workers compensation system is designed to ensure that folks who cannot make a living due to temporary or permanent injuries do not suffer financially as a result. It can be a complex system to navigate, and denials are common.
According to one survey, 13% of claims were denied because they were filed too late. A further 5% were denied because it was determined the injuries occurred outside work. The majority of workers who suffered denials eventually resolved their claims by negotiating with the insurance carrier as opposed to taking the matter to a hearing.
Given the complexities of the system, it's a good idea to learn a bit about it. Here are some of the facts you should know before you visit a workers compensation services firm.
There is No Nationwide System
While there are general laws at the federal level governing what states have to offer, each state has its own setup. You should find your state's workers comp website to learn how strict or generous the rules are where you live. Employers are not absolutely required to work with an insurance company, but the vast majority do because being self-insured carries major liability risks.
One of the biggest sources of confusion over claims is what constitutes a work-related injury. There's a common perception an injury has to occur on the job site. This is not true. If you are hurt while running an errand for your boss, even if you're not on the clock at the time, your injuries may be compensable. Similarly, injuries at things like company picnics may be compensable if attendance is widely seen as necessary to getting ahead in the company.
More Than Direct Injuries
While we think of the classic comp case as a piece of building material hitting a construction worker, the modern work environment has changed dramatically. A disease arising from long-term exposure to chemicals at a job site, for example, may be compensable. Repetitive stress injuries, such as typists and programmers experience, might be compensated as long as they were not pre-existing.
Common Employer Defenses
There are several defenses an employer may assert when a worker gets injured. These include claiming the injuries were self-inflicted, the product of deliberate misconduct or due to the consumption of drugs or alcohol. It's the responsibility of the employer to prove its case if they believe a worker was at fault for their own injuries.
Talk to a business like Duluth Injury Lawyers for more details.