Workers Compensation Myths Debunked

Workers’ compensation is a very limited system, unique to each state, and is only intended to provide benefits to those employees injured during the course and scope of their employment. In certain cases, 1099 or contract employees may also be covered under workers’ compensation. The reason for this is due to employer attempts to misclassify workers to avoid the costs of workers’ compensation insurance and the workers’ compensation system.

Workers’ compensation is generally speaking a no-fault system. This means that an injured employee is eligible for workers’ compensation even if the employer is not negligent. That being said, injuries sustained due to the fault of third parties (for example, negligent drivers in motor vehicle accidents) allow for you to receive workers’ compensation benefits as well as possibly recover compensation from negligent third parties.

Workers’ compensation is an unique area of law that provides each injured employee with rights to medical treatment and other benefits.  Many times the employee rights to these benefits are denied by the insurance company. For that reason, it is very common for an employee to seek legal representation and subsequent court intervention.   

There are two broad prerequisites that must be met prior to filing a workers’ compensation claim.  First, the injury must occur in the course and scope of employment. This simply means that the injury should happen while you are performing your official duties. The second is that you must sustain a physical or psychological injury.  If you have both of these, you should immediately report your injuries to your employer.

Due to the complicated nature of these workers’ compensation claims, there are many myths that are attached to this area of law. To help clear any ambiguity, here are two of the most common myths regarding workers compensation law, and are simply not true:

  • If You Are Completely At Fault Then You Cannot File For A Claim

This is one of the most common myths or misconceptions of workers compensation claims as people believe that you can only file a claim if they are not at fault or partly at fault. However, this is not true.  If you are injured during the course of your employment, then you can still receive workers’ compensation benefits and can have your injuries covered irrespective of fault.

It is imperative to understand that workers’ compensation is a no -fault-based system (generally) and that you have a full understanding of what to expect when filing a claim.  High-end attorneys, such as Mark V. Larson, will first sit down personally with each of their prospective clients, to fully assess your claim. Mark will also explain what kinds of benefits you can expect to eventually receive.  Mark V. Larson is currently a partner at Larson, Larson and Dauer and ALC, he is an American attorney who specializes in workers’ compensation.

  • You Will Get Fired If You Make a Claim

This is the first thing that comes to most people’s minds if they are injured during the course of their employment. However, it is not true by an aspect. If you make a claim for workers’ compensation and your employers threaten to fire you, then you may seek immediate legal action under a workers’ compensation Labor Code 132(a) claim and you may sue your employer in civil court for, including, but not limited to retaliation, harassment and discrimination.  

Under the workers’ compensation law, no organization is allowed to terminate an employee merely on the grounds that they filed a claim against the company. These laws are present at federal and state level to ensure that employees do not abstain from seeking workers compensation because they fear that they will lose their job. This can actually get your company into far more trouble and will lead to substantial penalties if they are proven guilty of wrongful termination.  The Judge can also require your employer to pay your full attorney fees, leaving the full settlement for you.

If you are currently planning on filing a workers’ compensation claim, then do not wait too long to file a claim, as there is statute of limitations. The law provides the employee with ample time to file a claim, but there are certain limits, each state has their own time frame in which a claim is valid.

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