Do you have a dangerous job?
Some jobs like trash collecting and farming may seem harmless but can do a lot of harm to a person. Studies show that workers who transport shipments sustain more injuries than any other occupation. Unfortunately, no matter how careful you are, accidents happen, and it could be one that will put you out of work.
That’s why it’s essential to know the next steps after you get an injury on the job. Knowing your rights as a worker will protect you and your family from any setbacks after an injury. Read on to learn more.
Report Your Injury
The first thing you need to do if you suffer an injury on the job is to report it. In most jurisdictions, you need to report your injury to your employer if it is the result of a job site accident. You have a legal right to do this without repercussions or retaliation, but you also have a responsibility to be timely.
The amount of time you have to report your injury and its details will vary. Some states are more lenient than others.
If you wait too long, you won’t be able to report your injury. You could, but you would unlikely get compensation from the company in question.
This might sound harsh, but it exists for a reason. It limits the chance of people abusing the system. Many people try claiming old or non-work-related injuries.
Putting a time limit on them helps incentivize rapid cooperation and reporting. The issue, of course, is that some injuries take a while to show up. This can lead to some people missing the deadline on a legitimate workplace injury claim.
A personal injury lawyer should be well-versed in these possibilities. They can help you navigate the timings and argue your case effectively.
When you get hurt at work, you always have the right to fill out an injury claim form at your workplace. The details and requirements vary from state to state, but a few things stay the same. You are always entitled to benefits if you get hurt at work, no matter what.
These benefits are usually monetary, but they can include care and rehabilitation. By Federal law, your employer should take your injury claims seriously. If you behave in good faith and file for workers’ compensation on time, you will receive what you deserve.
The only caveat is in cases where your employer has reason to doubt your claims. They aren’t allowed to deny your rights to apply, but they can argue that you caused your own injury, such as due to negligence. Your employer might also accuse you of playing up an old or non-work-related injury.
This could result in a court battle, reduced benefits, or denial of your claim. In the case of a denial, you can hire a lawyer to help appeal the decision. It is rare for an injured employee not to get at least some assistance or benefits.
What Are Your Rights?
So you have the right to report your injury without repercussions, and you have the right to apply for worker’s compensation. What other specific rights do you have if you get injured?
The Right to Hearings and Medical Treatment
To go into specifics, you don’t only have the right to file a claim in workers’ compensation court. You always have the right to a worker’s compensation hearing. This is where you would plead your case if there is a disagreement.
You also have the right to seek medical attention or treatment for the work injuries you claim. Your employer isn’t allowed to stop you from seeing medical specialists. They have to give you time off of work to recover and do tests or seek treatment.
You have the right to all worker’s compensation benefits owed to you during this time. Remember, it isn’t your employer’s role to judge your claims. They need to take you and your claims seriously and give you the benefit of the doubt.
If they want to take things to court, they can. However, in the meantime, they have an obligation not to interfere with your rights to benefits. This includes your right to time off.
The Right to Return to Work
Once a doctor or expert clears you to return to work, you can resume your duties. Your employer isn’t allowed to fire or replace you in the meantime. They must make every effort to incorporate you back into the fold with minimal fuss.
They cannot retaliate against you because of your claim or lost productivity.
If you cannot go back to work because of your injury, you have the right to disability compensation, whether your inability to work is temporary or permanent.
The size and nature of this disability compensation will depend on your case. This includes the nature of your job, how much you would have earned, and the severity of your injury.
The Right to Defend Your Claims
If your claims or rights are being denied, you have the right to redress. You can hire an injury lawyer to represent you throughout the entire process. You can defend your claims in court and force your employer to protect your rights after a workplace injury.
One piece of advice, however, is to avoid any actions that could hurt your claim. If you hurt your back at work, don’t start posting videos to Facebook of you giving your kids a piggyback ride. Your company could use it against you to deny or reduce your claims.
Your Rights After an Injury on the Job
Getting an injury on the job is the last thing anyone wants, especially if it will put you out of work for weeks or longer. Keep this guide in mind if you ever need to file a report or claim.
Knowing your rights is a good first step, and it always helps to have good lawyers who know the game. This is where Heard Merman Trial Lawyers steps in. Contact us today to get a free consultation.