There are few better job perks than your workers' comp insurance, when it works. You can expect to pay absolutely none of the medical costs associated with your work-related injury, and additionally you can stay home for as long as needed to recuperate without risking your job. It's also worth mentioning that you can earn a portion of your regular salary while you get better. What could be better? Unfortunately, some people run into problems when they try to move forward with their workers' comp claim. Read on to learn about some cases where things are not as advertised, and how to right the ship.
You cannot get your employer to file a claim for you. One of the first steps to take to ensure that you get coverage is to file a claim, so no claim means no benefits. Your supervisor, in most cases, is responsible for ensuring that the claim is filed once you report an injury or illness to them. There are a few reasons that you need to be aware of that could throw a monkey wrench in your efforts to get coverage, such as:
Your injury is too minor. If your injury can be taken care of with the contents of most office first aid kits, it may not be serious enough for coverage. You must seek medical treatment for your injury to get benefits, and if you fail to do so it could put your claim in jeopardy.
Your supervisor is claiming that your injury was not work-related. This is a common sticking point with claims, and often it's because supervisors are not well-trained on what qualifies for benefits. For example, if you had a preexisting condition that was made worse by work, you are covered. If your injury or illness happened "off campus", but you were attending a work-related function or on work business, you are covered.
You have suffered from a severe and potentially permanent injury. If your injury falls into this category, you should not waste time before getting the help of a workers' comp attorney. The workers' comp carrier may try to pressure you into accepting a settlement that is far less than adequate for your needs. Remember, you may never be able to work at your job again, and you need to get enough from a settlement that will sustain you until your retirement, at least. If your injury is serve enough, seek help when it comes time to negotiate; otherwise you could be selling yourself short.
Contact a workers' comp attorney immediately if you are experiencing problems with your claim.