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Back to Basics on Workers’ Compensation

Workers’ compensation is insurance that employers are required by law to have for their employees. It covers only two things: medical expenses and lost wages as a result of an injury sustained while on the job. Although most injuries occur at the physical address of the employer, workers’ compensation also covers injuries sustained while working off-site. Any employer with four or more employees must have workers’ compensation insurance. Construction sites must cover every employee on the site.

Who Can Apply for Worker’s Compensation?

Roughly 97% of the people who have a valid workers’ compensation claim, never pursue it. You may apply for workers’ compensation if you are an employee of a company that has workers’ compensation insurance. You must have been injured while performing on-the-job duties. It doesn’t matter if you are a full-time, part-time, or seasonal employee; you are still entitled to the benefits provided. If your position is “temporary” or “casual,” then your benefits depend on whether you are an independent contractor or an actual employee (sometimes indicated by W2 status). Only employees are entitled to benefits. Receipt of a 1099 for work done is not positive proof of status as a non-employee. Call us to confirm the standards required.

What to Do When You are Injured

As soon as you are injured, the first thing you need to do is to notify your employer. Your employer is required by law to fill out a “First Report of Injury” and file it with the Department of Labor documenting the incident. 

Your employer is also required to  notify their insurance company. The insurance carrier will evaluate the claim and assign you a doctor. You are required to use the doctor that the insurance company assigns.

If you can continue to work, then do so. If you cannot, let your supervisor know that you are out due to a work-related injury or illness. Once the insurance company approves your claim, you will receive your medical expenses paid for in total and 2/3 of your average weekly wage for lost wages. During November and December, settlements are more prevalent. 

Let Us Help

Workers’ compensation claims can quickly become complicated, and you need to know what your rights are to further pursue your claim. Contact our office to learn more about your legal options so that you receive the full benefits you deserve.

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