Workers Compensation Lawyer
There may be a few situations where you can represent yourself in a workers’ compensation case. Having said that, it’s necessary to consider that those situations typically involve extremely simple injuries or extraordinarily cooperative employers. Regrettably, those kinds of circumstances are relatively rare. In cases that have any degree of complexity, you should consult with a workers’ compensation lawyer to ensure your best interests and rights and protected and preserved.
What is the workers’ compensation system?
The workers’ compensation system provides employees with benefits like medical care and payment for lost wages without the hassle and cost of litigation. It exists in all U.S. states to protect workers who become injured on the job or develop an illness as a result of their occupation. In essence, the system works this way: a worker becomes injured or ill, and rather than file a lawsuit against their employer, they can file a claim to receive compensation from their employer’s workers’ compensation insurance company.
Workers who have become injured or sick because of their work conditions or environment can take advantage of this no-fault benefit system. Sadly, it is also a system where outcomes are often unfair to sick and injured workers. And while the system may seem designed for employees to be able to move through it on their own (and without an attorney), this is only possible in a few limited situations. Because the workers’ comp system is complicated, an injured or sick worker should take the time to learn about the workers’ compensation system in their particular state and consider hiring a workers’ compensation lawyer to handle a claim.
Each individual state establishes its own rules about when an employer must acquire workers’ compensation insurance. Some states have set a minimum number of employees that an employer has to have to be required to obtain workers’ compensation insurance. Other states may require a company to purchase workers’ compensation insurance if an employer has any employees at all.
Certain industries may be excluded from coverage in some states. Those workers would likely have to file a suit under personal injury liability when injured on the job, but would not have a claim under a workers’ compensation program. Plus, independent contractors are also generally excluded.
What are considered covered injuries?
Workers’ compensation coverage is intended to compensate employees who suffer work-related injuries. However, some states expand this definition also to include illnesses that are work-related. Moreover, other states may only allow specific illnesses to trigger coverage.
A work-related injury may not necessarily have to be caused by a single incident. Work-related repetitive stress injuries or a sickness that is the result of continued exposure to certain chemicals or conditions in the work environment may trigger a workers’ compensation claim. Employees do not necessarily have to be at their place of work to be covered under workers’ comp programs. If an employee is completing a work-related task at the request of their employer and is injured, workers’ compensation may cover these injuries.
As you can see, it can all be quite overwhelming, so hiring a qualified workers’ compensation attorney can help tremendously. Contact a lawyer today to discuss your situation with a knowledgeable legal professional.