One day at work, you picked up a stack of boxes to carry them to the storage room in the back of the store. They were heavier than you expected, but you thought you could handle it. Suddenly, something painful snapped in your lower back.
You let your boss know right away, and she told you to go ahead and fill out an injury report. You were relieved to realize that you would be eligible for Workers’ Compensation benefits.
You wonder if you should contact a lawyer for an on-the-job injury since you’ll have Workers’ Comp.
WHAT IS WORKERS’ COMPENSATION?
Workers’ Compensation (Workers’ Comp) is a system of insurance that protects injured workers. This is a state-mandated insurance program and each state has its own programs and laws.
Federal employees have their own workers’ comp, as well. It is separate from a health insurance plan.
If an employee is injured on the job or develops an illness related to work, workers’ comp covers the employee’s medical expenses. If the employee can’t work for some time, workers’ comp will also cover lost wages until the person can return to work.
It’s important to remember that you need to report your injury to the employer when it has happened. If you wait until after the required time limits, the employer may not have to cover your claim.
Workers’ Comp Covers Things Like:
- Medical bills and medical debt
- Wage replacement benefits
- Vocational rehabilitation
- Mileage to and from medical appointments
- And sometimes other benefits, as well
Of course, there are some exceptions. Your lawyer can share the specifics of your particular case with you.
Workers’ Comp may not cover a claim if the injured employee was:
- Found to be under the influence of certain substances at work
- Violating certain policies
- Committing a criminal act
- Harmed by self-inflicted injuries
- Starting a fight
- Purposely trying to hurt someone else or acting recklessly
- Not on the job
Workers’ Comp Doesn’t Usually Cover:
- Pain and suffering
- Property damage
These types of damages would only possibly be covered through a civil claim rather than through the personal injury coverage from workers’ comp. Vehicle damage may be covered by the other driver’s auto insurance policy if they were at fault.
A driver who has personal injury protection insurance (PIP insurance) through their car insurance may also find that lost wages, medical expenses, funeral expenses, and even other expenses may be covered through the PIP insurance.
Be sure to keep all medical records and police reports (and any communication from the police department) if you are in a car crash so that your lawyer can use that information for your case.
SHOULD YOU CONTACT A LAWYER FOR AN ON-THE-JOB INJURY IF YOU HAVE WORKERS’ COMP?
Employers are required by law to provide Workers’ Compensation for their employees. In most states, this means that employers must buy Workers’ Compensation insurance from an insurance company.
Some states allow larger employers to self-insure. And some laws allow very small companies to be exempt from providing Workers’ Comp coverage.
But, like any insurance company, Workers’ Compensation insurance companies will try to pay the minimum they can on each claim.
Should you contact a lawyer for an on the job injury? If the injury is serious or you are concerned your case isn’t being handled properly, yes, you probably should contact an attorney.
Your lawyer knows what liability insurance covers through Worker’s Comp—and what they don’t. They will keep your employer’s Workers’ Comp insurance from taking advantage of you.
A personal injury lawyer can help ensure that an employer’s Worker’s Comp insurance doesn’t cut any corners on a case but pays to the maximum of their limits.
They will push to get the insurance to provide appropriate compensation for lost wages, job rehabilitation, and medical treatment for work-related injuries or illness.
WHAT TYPES OF INJURIES OR ILLNESSES MIGHT WORKERS’ COMP COVER?
If your injury or illness is related to your work, Workers’ Comp will likely cover it. They may try to prove that your injuries are not related to work and that your health insurance should cover your expenses.
It is important for you to keep thorough records of all of your treatment and to be in touch with a trusted lawyer to handle your injury case.
They can review all the details of your situation to make sure that Workers’ Comp pays for everything they should on your compensation claim.
Common Types of Personal Injury Cases Often Covered by Workers’ Comp
- Slip and fall accidents at work (property owners have premises liability)
- Car accidents (if you are driving on the job)
- Truck accidents (if you are driving a truck for a trucking company, for example)
- Bodily injuries sustained on the job due to dangerous conditions
- Illness related to your job (ie: if you were exposed to asbestos on your job and that leads to mesothelioma or other lung diseases)
- Death benefits in a wrongful death case to families who were financially dependent on the employee who has died
ARE YOU LOOKING FOR A PERSONAL INJURY LAWYER IN SOUTH CAROLINA?
We are a personal injury law firm in Columbia, SC. We have years of experience working with all kinds of personal injury cases and workers’ comp cases.
If you’ve been seriously injured at work, we’d be glad to talk with you about how we might be able to help you receive all the compensation you deserve from your employer.
Contact us today for a free consultation!
We’d love to put our experience and compassion to work for you to make sure no one takes advantage of you.