Understand Workers Compensation Rights and Duties

Workers' Compensation is a difficult area of law.  Often, despite their best efforts, business owners don't necessarily understand it or their duty to protect their employees. When there is a misunderstanding of the employers' duty to carry insurance, or misunderstandings of safety guidelines, safety requirements, and employee responsibilities, injuries could happen and employers could find themselves in potentially difficult situations.  We all want to be able to work in safe conditions and are entitled to by law. 

Employers' Legal Obligations

If you are a business owner, you are required to carry workers' compensation in your state.  You are also required to carry workers' compensation insurance in other states if you enter into contracts there.  And in the case of some fields of work, whether you employ "employees" or "contractors" you are required to carry workers' compensation insurance as a matter of law.  This system can be confusing for business owners who may otherwise want to do right.

Typically, workers' compensation insurance is obtained from licensed insurers.  They will explain to employers that should workers become injured on the job, the state's workers compensation fund provides funds for these workers to pay their medical bills and ease their transition as they heal before they get back to work.  However, the critical components are that a work site need to establish and maintain an active safety program and they need to communicate this program and the consequences of work injuries to their employees.

Employees' Rights to Workers Compensation

Employees injured on the job may be entitled to collect workers' compensation for their injuries.  This is to allow an employee to heal properly and to pay their medical bills as they remain out of work. This is not intended to be permanent, though.  However, long term disability benefits do exist for seriously injured employees.  The state's workers' compensation system is set up to aid employees to pay their bills while they focus on healing to get back to work.  

When employees are injured on the job, typically, they alert their supervisor or human resources department to the injury.  Then, they are advised to do the following:

  • seek immediate medical care
  • obtain witness information
  • obtain pics on your smart phone of the dangerous work condition
  • call a skilled work injury attorney
When workers are injured, it can be difficult to obtain the necessary compensation for their work injury.  This is why they are advised to hire a work injury attorney.  A work injury attorney can help employees to navigate the insurance system and to face the workers' compensation board.  When injured employees try this on their own, they risk not being able to collect the benefits they are due for their injuries.

If you have suffered a work injury, you should contact a skilled work injury attorney to obtain the relief you need.  You should also collect information to assist the work injury attorney in your case.  Increase your chances of a favorable settlement and obtain the relief you need.