An Employee’s Basic Guide To Workers’ Compensation

Typically, injuries or illnesses can occur while working in a commercial establishment. These can happen due to specific causes, such as slip and fall accidents, overexertion and bodily reaction, exposure to harmful environments or substances, and similar conditions. 
Being injured or falling ill in the workplace can result in negative financial consequences, such as lost income and the ability to earn a living for you and your family. Fortunately, dealing with this financial hassle doesn't need to be complicated by filing a workers' compensation claim.  

So, if you sustain an injury or an illness while working in a commercial enterprise, read on to learn everything you need to know about workers' compensation.  
What Is Workers' Compensation? 
Workers' compensation is a state-administered insurance program that aims to provide financial assistance to all workers who have been injured or become ill during their employment. It's also known as a no-fault insurance plan that employers should acquire to support their employees who got injured or ill in the workplace. However, even if the workers' compensation is a state-mandated program, each state has different rules and regulations that employers and employees should be aware of. 
Moreover, it's essential to note that all eligible employees, regardless of race, sex, age, gender, marital status, religion, and other similar conditions, are entitled to the following benefits:  

  • Medical Benefits: Upon approval of the workers' compensation claim, the employer will shoulder all the treatment expenses of the employee's work-related injury or illness. The healthcare provider will send the healthcare bills to the employer for payment.  
  • Wage Replacement Benefits: If the employee can't report to work due to work-related injury or illness, the employer will have to pay a portion of the regular wages.  

When you're injured or ill in the commercial workplace, you may get compensated with the benefits mentioned above. Unlike personal injury cases, filing a workers' compensation claim doesn't require you to blame either you or your employer before you receive financial assistance. This setup also applies to injured victims of specific terrorist attacks, like 9/11, by filing a victim compensation fund (VCF) claim. Thus, if you were a cleanup volunteer or helped with the debris removal of the 9/11 terrorist attack, you can check this recommended site and other online resources to get more information about the claims process.   

What are the Different Types of Injuries Covered by Workers' Compensation?
If you're filing a workers' comp claim, it's also essential to get familiar with the various types of injuries covered by this state-administered insurance program. That way, you'll know whether you're qualified to obtain compensation from the said insurance plan.  
Some common types of injuries covered by workers' compensation can include injuries caused by workplace accidents, worsening of pre-existing conditions because of work, repetitive stress injuries, occupational diseases, and mental health issues brought by stress at work.   
On the other hand, there are also certain types of injuries that aren't covered by workers' compensation. These can include injuries sustained during your commute to and from work, injuries suffered during lunch outside the commercial workplace, injuries caused by fighting or messing around, and injuries sustained due to being under the influence of alcohol or drugs.   
What Are the Steps Involved In filing a Workers' Compensation Claim?
Now that you figure out whether you're eligible to pursue compensation from the workers' comp insurance program, it's time to educate yourself about the basic steps involved in filing a claim. These can include: 

  • Seek Medical Care

To ensure a successful workers' compensation claim, you need to get yourself checked by a competent doctor to treat your injuries properly. Doing this is crucial since it allows you to obtain documents proving your injury or illness occurred in a commercial workplace. Remember, the more evidence you have, the higher your chances of getting your claim approved.    

  • Report What Happened To Your Employer

Filing a workers' comp claim requires you to inform your employer about your injury as soon as you can. If you fail to do so, you may lose your right to receive the benefits. This is because the report serves as prerequisite information the employer needs to file the claim on your behalf. Also, when notifying your employer, ensure it's written so you can have proper documentation of the report.   

  • Procure Evidence

Filing a claim doesn't automatically mean it's approved right away. The insurance carrier will receive the documents from your employer, review the information provided, and determine whether you're eligible to receive benefits under the workers' compensation program. However, the likelihood of your claim's approval may depend on the supporting evidence you submit.  
Hence, to boost your chances of achieving a successful claim, you should look for evidence to substantiate it. These may include medical records, witness statements, photos and videos of the incident site, and other documentation. If you need assistance with the process of collecting evidence and other matters relating to your claim, you can always seek help from an attorney. They can help you get through the processes smoothly and protect your rights and interests by getting the compensation you need.   

  • Keep Up With Your Medical Care

Once the employer files the workers' comp claim, you need to keep up with your medical care to protect your eligibility for the benefits. In most cases, when you fail to follow through with your medical care, you may be forced to report work because the employer believes you're not injured or ill enough to entitle you with compensation. As a result, you may become ineligible to receive medical and wage replacement benefits.  
Bottom Line  
It can be frustrating to be injured or fall ill in your commercial workplace, mainly if it adversely affects the physical, mental, and financial aspects of your life. Therefore, as a construction employee prone to work-related injuries or illnesses, it's best to keep this guide in mind from the get-go. With this, you can handle your workers' comp claim more efficiently to ensure a favorable outcome.   

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