Statistics show workplace accidents and injuries are common, though traumatic, occurrences. Even if they may seem more common in some fields, the risk of getting injured cuts across professional divides. Worse yet, in the case of a work-related injury, the physical pain and mental anguish are compounded by the financial burden (doctors’ bills and lost wages) and the legal hassle the worker is faced with. At times like this, the help of a workplace accidents lawyer may prove invaluable.
In theory, if you sustained an injury on the job, you are entitled to workers’ compensation. However, given the intricacies of the legal system, you may need an experienced accident attorney to guide you through the process and help you get your claim.
Here is what you should know about workers’ compensation and the ways in which a specialized workplace accidents lawyer can help you file a successful claim.
What is workers’ compensation?
Workers’ compensation is a special insurance system that pays benefits to workers who sustain work-related injuries. The insurance is supposed to cover medical bills, damages in case of permanent disability and loss of salaries or wages.
What types of injuries are covered?
The most obvious type is a physical injury resulting from a workplace accident. For instance, a construction worker might end up with severe fractures after falling from a considerable height because of some security mishap. Though manual laborers might seem more prone to such injuries, an office worker is as likely to sustain a direct injury.
A more subtle type of injury is a work-related illness, which can range from carpal tunnel syndrome to various forms of cancer caused by exposure to toxic materials on the job.
In the latter case, it may be more difficult to get compensation, because the employee has to provide evidence that the illness was caused by factors in the workplace.
Who is eligible for workers’ compensation?
Although workers’ compensation covers various types of injuries, certain criteria should be met when filing a claim for compensation. Employers should provide clear information concerning the rights and benefits of employees, including who is eligible for workers’ compensation. However, if in doubt about eligibility, you might start by requesting the respective information from the Human Resources department.
The next step would be consulting a specialized accident attorney who can analyze your case and provide advice as to the best course of action.
Ways a workplace accidents lawyer can help
A seasoned workplace accidents lawyer can assess the fair compensation you are entitled to, which may include compensation for lost wages, and help steer your course through the legal hassle.
A competent accidents lawyer will begin by gathering all of the necessary information and evidence concerning the accident, including photos of the site, names and contacts of witnesses, medical records, etc. Lawyers generally work together with doctors in such cases. However, the worker should also keep a careful record of injuries, interactions with the company’s HR or legal department, X-rays, or a journal of symptoms.
Based on this body of evidence, the lawyer can finally file the claim for compensation. More often than not, such claims are settled before going to court, as most companies prefer to avoid lawsuits. However, if the matter is taken to the court, the accident attorney should defend his client’s interests in court as well, ensuring he/she gets fair compensation for the injuries sustained.