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6 Common Worker’s Compensation Myths

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Unlike other personal injury cases, such as automobile accidents, worker’s compensation claims are a result of an injury sustained while on the job. Oftentimes an employer will refuse to pay a worker’s comp claim. When this happens, the injured employee may decide to seek legal action through a lawsuit to compel their employer to pay for lost wages and medical bills.

Unfortunately, there’s a lot of misinformation out there regarding worker’s compensation laws, rules, and the rights of employees. Here are some common myths regarding worker’s compensation:

Myth #1 – When I file for worker’s compensation, I am suing my employer – Depending on the laws of your state, when you file a worker’s compensation claim you doing so through a state agency, which is not a lawsuit. Most employers carry worker’s compensation insurance which pays out benefits. However, these insurance companies will sometimes try to fight the legitimacy of the employee’s claim making legal action necessary.

Myth #2 – My pain and suffering should be compensated along with my actual injuries – Laws vary from state to state but, generally speaking, many states do not allow compensation for “pain and suffering.” But they do cover worker’s comp benefits for such things as medical treatment, lost wages, the cost of rehabilitation or physical therapy, and longtime or permanent disability payments.

Myth #3 – I just started working at my new job, so I’m not eligible for worker’s comp protection – In most cases, this is not true. The minute you start working for a company that has worker’s compensation insurance, you are covered. Even if you are injured on your first day of work, you can still file a claim.

Myth #4 – I’ll be forced to see a specific doctor picked out by my company ­– Depending on state law, you are not required to see a particular doctor. However, you may be required to choose from a list of doctors covered by your company’s worker’s comp insurance for your initial treatment. Some company worker’s comp insurance plans will allow you to switch between their authorized physicians or be evaluated by your own doctor. Contact your company’s Human Resources Department for more information.

Myth #5 – I can’t be fired when I’m out due to a worker’s comp injury – In many cases, especially if you work in an “at will” state, an employer can terminate you if you can’t work for an extended period of time. Be sure to check your local state laws, review your employee handbook, or consult your business’s Personnel Office to determine their policies as it regards termination.

Myth #6 – I’m an independent contractor, so I can’t sue for worker’s compensation – Depending on the laws of your individual state, if you are an independent contractor and are injured when performing a work-related activity, such as driving a company vehicle on company business, you are covered. You have the right to file a worker’s compensation lawsuit if your company refuses to pay based on your independent contractor status. Check your local laws or consult an attorney who specializes in worker’s comp litigation to determine your specific rights.

The aforementioned information is meant to be only a general rule of thumb when it comes to worker’s compensation claims and lawsuits. It is not an attempt by Global Injury Funding to offer any legal advice. Worker’s compensation laws vary from state to state, so we encourage you to check your state’s legal statutes or speak to an attorney who is knowledgeable in this area.

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If you find yourself having to file a worker’s compensation lawsuit, contact us today to learn how we can help you during this difficult time. Our experienced, friendly, and professional staff will guide you through the process every step of the way.

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