Legal Speak: What To Do If Injured At Work

Have you been the victim of a work related injury recently? Due to the nature of the subordinate- employer relations, you might feel skeptical of not exercising the legal rights that you as a citizen but also an employee, are entitled to receive. If this is the case, please stay tuned to read up on some truly valuable information that will allow you to correctly take the necessary legal steps after your injury at work. 

Get the treatment you need: Your health is your most valuable asset and matters above all else. For that reason, you need to make sure that your healthcare provider is authorized by the Workers’ Compensation Board in order to get the necessary care. At times, insurance companies may have some tricks up their sleeves to raise the premiums or deductibles, especially in an emergency situation. For that reason, it is imperative that you acquire legal representation so that you’re not alone when the time comes to file your claim. If your job handles health insurance, it is the employer’s obligation to notify you of which of the two programs you’re entitled to, either a Health Maintenance Organization (HMO) or a Preferred Provider Organization (PPO). 

Steps to take –

  • Notify your employer: You must inform your boss or supervisor on the totality of your accident or injury. It is crucial to provide the facts with an implementation of chronological order resulting in the injury. Notifying the injury is essential because if you fail to do so in the span of thirty days, you may be prone to losing all benefits of workers’ compensation. 
  • Complete a C-3 Form: This guideline ensures that your claim as an employee is legally factual. You can request it from your employer, or acquire it online. Once you fill out all of the information, you must mail it to your closest Worker’s Compensation office. From that point forward, you must follow your doctor’s directives so that you can regain your health. 

Employee rights: Many people do not report their injuries at work out of fear that they’ll lose their jobs. It’s for that reason that you should know that there are certain laws in place such as the American’s Disabilities Act (ADA), making it illegal for an employer to fire an employee solely on the fact that their injury affects their work. The ADA helps the employees by accommodating them to a new schedule or format of their original job, allowing a better performance, so that the company will have no excuse to fire them. At times, employers try to harass the employee out of that accommodation, so it is detrimental that the employee reports their employer if that were to be the case. 

Alternatives to Workers’ Compensation: There are instances where several jobs are not qualified for worker compensation. This however, does not mean that if you’re an independent contractor who becomes injured, you are not eligible for reparation. Quite the contrary, you can issue the use of “arbitration for injuries and other disputes.” This mandate will allow you to hire legal representation, and state your claim. Other workers such as Federal employees, mine workers, and marine workers are entitled to separate options such as: 

  • Federal Employment Liability Act (FELA)
  • Merchant Marine Act (Jones Act)
  • Blank Lungs Benefit Act 

Injuries at work can occur at the blink of an eye. They may leave you bed ridden for a while, or immerse you in a battle to achieve a proper settlement claim. Before you do that, we hope that the information above was able to grant you more clarity about your work related rights so you can take calculated steps moving forward.

 

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