Owners of large businesses are required to get workers’ compensation insurance to protect their employees against work-related injuries. Employers are also required to ensure the safety of all workers. However, despite these efforts to provide safe and healthy work environments, workers still get injured on the job.
If you are hurt at work, you are entitled to workers’ compensation benefits. Unfortunately, employers and insurers often pay lower benefits than what the law compels them to provide. Some employers might even go to the extent of attempting to fire injured workers to avoid paying them continued benefits. Therefore, you should know your rights, take legal steps to protect your job, and make sure you get the benefits you are entitled to. Here are some of the steps you can take to protect your rights when you are injured on the job.
Report the Accident
After a workplace injury, you must report it to your supervisor immediately. You should make sure that the supervisor writes a report of the accident and that you also get a copy. Your supervisor will then provide you with workers’ compensation claim forms that you must complete. This stage can come after you receive medical treatment.
Seek Medical Attention
You must get medical treatment after a workplace injury. Your employer can provide a list of authorized doctors that you can visit. However, you also have a right to see another doctor, but you should first inform the supervisor. If you choose to go your way and fail to follow the company regulations, your employer and insurer may not cover your medical expenses.
Consult a Personal Injury Lawyer
Workers’ compensation insurance comes with tradeoffs that you should understand. According to the workers’ compensation law, every worker has a right to get compensation when they are injured at work. However, by opting for a settlement with no-fault asked, employees waive their right to sue the employer. The employer’s insurance company may also deny your claim for benefits for a variety of different reasons.
Therefore, you need good legal advice in order to understand your rights when you are hurt at work. Work-related injuries are common in Virginia and other states, but the problem is that some workers lack a sound understanding of their rights and how they can file a claim. When you hire a Virginia personal injury lawyer, you can learn what your rights are according to the state’s law. Your attorney can help you complete the workers’ compensation claim forms to prevent errors. A lawyer can also help evaluate the settlement you are offered by the employer and negotiate for a better offer if the initial amount is not enough to cover the damages you sustained.
Follow the Doctor’s Instructions
If your physician says that you are not yet fit to return to work, then you should do as instructed. Your employer cannot force you to go against the doctor’s instructions. However, you need to notify your employer about all the developments related to your recuperation process. You must also comply with the employer’s rules so that you do not lose your benefits. If you have suffered a permanent injury that makes it impossible for you to return to work, you should know that you have a right to get some form of disability compensation.
Make a Follow-up With Your Insurance Claim
When you report an injury to your supervisor, you are given workers’ compensation forms that you should complete. The employer will handle the claim from there, and they are responsible for mailing the forms to the local workers’ compensation board that in turn determines your settlement. The insurer cannot award you any benefit unless the employer files a claim. Therefore, it is your legal right to verify with the employer if they have sent your compensation claim to the insurer.
You can also contact the local workers’ compensation board if the employer and insurer are failing to provide the information that you need. Additionally, when the insurer finally awards you a settlement, you have the right to review it and evaluate whether it is commensurate with your injuries. If you are not satisfied with the settlement, you can appeal it. There are internal channels that you should use to negotiate fair compensation.
File a Lawsuit
While employees are not expected to sue the employer under the workers’ compensation scheme, they are not prohibited from doing so. If the employer denies your claim and they maintain the verdict, you have a legal right to file a lawsuit in a court of law. Your case will be heard by an impartial judge who will make a final verdict. No matter the outcome of the case, there are specific laws that protect your rights, and you can retain your job.
Your employer is not allowed to victimize you or terminate your contract for filing a lawsuit against them. If you feel that your employer is treating you unfairly for taking legal action against them, you have the right to report them to the responsible labor governing body. All employers are aware of the existence of the laws that allow workers to file lawsuits against them.
What Are Your Legal Rights Against Third Parties?
If a third party contributes to your injuries due to their negligence while you are on the line of duty, you have a right to legal action against them. For instance, if you are injured in a road accident that is caused by the negligence of the other driver, you can file a compensation claim against them. These are commonly known as “third-party claims,” but you cannot file them under the workers’ compensation system. A third-party claim takes the form of a civil lawsuit.
When you are injured on the job, you are entitled to benefits under the workers’ compensation insurance. Every employer is supposed to get this kind of insurance to protect employees’ rights in case of injuries. While you are entitled to compensation following a work-related injury, your employer may violate your rights in different ways. For this reason, it is essential to understand the legal measures that you can take to protect your rights.