Workplace accidents happen and it’s inevitable even if you have the strictest safety procedures and meticulously trained employees. If you’re the employer, what will you do if one of your employees falls at work and gets injured? You’ll be responsible for addressing the incident and may be required to support worker’s compensation insurance to cover costs of lost wages, medical bills, or other damages. 

On the other hand, if you’re an employee, are you aware of your rights if you’ve sustained an injury at work? In this article, we are going to discuss the basics of workers’ compensation law and rights to help you out. 

 

What is workers’ compensation? 

Also referred to as workman’s comp, work comp, and workers’ comp, it’s the system that helps cover medical expenses and lost wages for employees when they get injured at work. It’s not only intended for the protection of employees, but it also protected the employer in case the employee decides to take the damages to court. 

Most of the time, it’s described mutually as workers’ compensation insurance, a policy you may be legally needed to carry in order to offer this coverage. Let’s put it this way, as you need car insurance to cover suffered expenses as the result of an auto accident, you may need workers’ compensation insurance to answer any costs sustained as the result of a workplace injury. 

 

Who needs workers’ compensation? 

white paper on persons lap

Commonly, workers’ compensation is designated for any employee who is not of owner position. But depending on the state, leadership roles (partners, corporate officers, LLC members), subcontractors, or uninsured contractors can be considered as an employee. To refrain my any oversight, it’s critical to verify all state jurisdictions. So make sure you do your research first. 

 

How does workers’ compensation work? 

If an employee sustains an injury while working, as an employer, it’s your responsibility to provide the appropriate information and forms about the process of claiming the compensation. After the employee files the claim and it’s approved, he or she can start receiving the benefits. From that, you and your employee can create a plan for returning to work. 

 

What are the basic requirements for benefits under workers’ compensation? 

Here are some of the basic qualifications for workers’ compensation benefits:

  • You should be an employee. 
  • Your employers should provide workers’ comp insurance.
  • You should have a work-related injury or sickness.
  • You need to be able to achieve the deadline of state for reporting the injury and filing a work comp claim. 

 

How to file a workers’ compensation case? 

In a lot of cases, here are the three common steps for filing a workers’ compensation claim: 

  1. Report the injury 
  2. File the actual claim with your employer 
  3. File an application for adjudication of the claim at your local compensation board
  4. If the company doesn’t recognize the claim, look for a compensation lawyer

 

What should I avoid saying to the workers’ comp doctor? 

human X-ray result chart

During an Independent Medical Exam (IME), these are the things you should not say to your doctor: 

  • Overemphasizing your symptoms 
  • Not telling the truth about the symptoms 
  • Not giving information about past injuries 
  • Leaving out details about the accident 
  • Sharing negative things about your employer 

Never lie or say negative things about your company or boss, these are the two huge mistakes that you can make when communicating with the doctor. Don’t tell false claims and instead give straight facts, and be honest to get your workers’ comp claim approved. 

 

As an employer, what should I do after the accident happens? 

When one of your employees get into an accident, here are the steps you must follow: 

  • Provide the injured employee with appropriate medical attention. Whether the injury is an emergency or treatment type with a regular doctor or physician, offer the employee with options of professional who take handle workers’ compensation patients. 
  • Issue claim forms within 24 hours to the injured employee starting from the time the injury took place. 
  • With the said statement above, you must give all the reports about the accident mandated by your state provider. You can send this report to numerous people, so make sure you have a few copies on hand. 
  • Make ready for a statement of the employees’ salary, even his or her overtime.
  • Provide a file for the injured employee and don’t forget all the copies of correspondence regarding the matter. 
  • Make sure to check the employee to examine their health and healing. 

To read more about filling workers’ compensation claims, here are Important Things You Must Know First Before Filing a Workers’ Compensation Claim.

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