After you’re hurt on the job, you have a right to make a claim for workers’ compensation. Misconceptions about how workers’ compensation works could hurt your case, which is why it’s important to learn about your rights as an employee.
The following are five common misconceptions about workers’ compensation claims and your rights. If you run into problems while making a claim, remember that you can seek more legal support.
- Your employer decides if you have a claim
This is untrue. If you report that you have suffered an injury on the job, your employer and the workers’ compensation insurance provider have to act within the next 21 days. In that time, they can accept or deny the claim, and then you reserve the right to appeal.
If you have not received any paperwork within the 21 days after your injury, let your attorney know as soon as possible.
- You can’t make a claim if you had an underlying medical issue
Generally speaking, any injury or illness you suffer that is caused or worsened by work should be covered by workers’ compensation. You’ll need to prove that your illness or injury is work-related, but that does also mean that you can report a new injury or a worsened condition from before the incident.
- You can stop working after you’re injured
This is not necessarily the case. You should follow your medical provider’s orders. For example, if you’re given a list of restrictions to follow, your employer should recognize those and allow you to work with modifications. If you run into issues with your employer, then let your doctor know right away. Never quit on your own, since this could hurt your case.
- A denial is final
Many people think that a denial of workers’ compensation is final, but that’s not true. You have an opportunity to appeal.
- You can’t get workers’ compensation if you caused your own injuries
Finally, if you caused your own injuries unintentionally, you should be able to seek workers’ compensation. The same may not be true if the injuries were caused intentionally.
What should you do if you’re struggling with getting workers’ compensation?
If you’re trying to get workers’ compensation and have not been able to, you need to take action to protect yourself. Whether your employer has refused to report the injuries you’ve suffered or you find that your claim has been denied, you have some options to help you get your claim approved and to get the compensation you deserve.