When someone is injured on the job, they have the right to file for worker’s compensation benefits. Unfortunately, injured workers sometimes go through a lot of stress with the process and are denied the benefits they have earned. Understanding the Workers compensation basics will help injured workers to better understand their rights and the steps they can take to protect their rights as they go through the process.
What Is Worker’s Compensation?
Worker’s compensation is an insurance program that provides injured workers with wage replacement and medical benefits while they are recovering from an injury or illness that is related to their employment or happened while on the job. When a worker is injured, they first need to file an injury report with their employer so the process can be started. The sooner this is filed, the sooner the worker can be approved for their benefits.
Once the injury report has been filed, the employer is required to inform their insurance company so the claim can be processed. Generally, the insurance company is given two weeks to inform the injured worker about whether or not their claim has been approved. If the claim is denied, the injured worker has the right to appeal and will need to take the necessary steps, according to the rules in their state.
Why Hire a Lawyer?
There are many reasons an injured worker might want to hire a lawyer to help them through the process. Often, injured workers are asked to jump through hoop after hoop, only to end up being denied their benefits. If an appeal is filed, the hearing will take place before an administrative law judge or a committee depending on the state.
Some states will require mediation meetings to take place before a judge gets involved, in the hopes the two sides can work out an agreement. Having a lawyer working on their side makes the process of going through an appeal much easier for the injured worker. The lawyer works to protect the rights of the worker and holds the employer and the insurance company accountable for paying what is owed to the injured victim.