Don’t Believe These 5 Common Misconceptions About Workers Comp
Work-related injuries are all too common in the United States. At worst, these injuries can be permanent or even fatal. At best, you may require time off work. How many people do you know who can afford to take unscheduled breaks from work?
Yet in 2013 alone, there were an estimated 917,000 work-related injuries that required time off. No matter the extent of your injuries, you should file a workers compensation claim to protect yourself during times like this. Unfortunately, many employees have misconceptions about the workers comp process or are under the impression that they shouldn’t file a claim at all. To help set the record straight, here are five common misconceptions you shouldn’t believe about workers compensation claims:
You could be fired for pursuing a claim
Employees who file for workers compensation are protected by law. That means that your employer cannot legally fire you for filing such a claim. In fact, the vast majority of businesses are required to pay for coverage. Although your boss may not be thrilled with having to deal with paperwork or an increase in insurance rates, he or she cannot terminate your employment for filing a claim.
Your employer has your best interests at heart
In the best workplaces, this is 100% true. Unfortunately, not everyone works in the best workplaces. That’s why it’s important to protect yourself and follow up on all claim procedures. While we’d like to think that our bosses want to do what’s in our best interests, the truth is that he or she may attempt to convince you not to file your claim or may not be motivated to follow procedure to the letter. However, it’s important that you file your claim within the allotted time frame — and be sure to contact a workers compensation lawyer if you suspect your employer is not following through or you experience intimidation or manipulation in relation to your claim.
Independent contractors can’t file
Although this is often true, it depends on the situation. Some companies like Uber and Lyft may be required to pay unemployment and workers comp benefits for drivers who were previously considered to be contractors. These situations aren’t cut-and-dried, so it helps to consult an experienced workers compensation attorney if you’re injured as an independent contractor.
It’s not worth appealing a denied claim
You have every right to file an appeal if your claim is denied. A claim could be denied for any number of reasons — including a downplayed assessment by a doctor chosen by your employer — so it’s important to fight for everything to which you are entitled. Medical bills and missed work can be financially devastating for many workers. Don’t give up on your claim if it should be decided in your favor.
You don’t need an attorney
The reality is that most of these claims are tricky. Every state has different deadlines and requirements filers must follow, and it can be easy to miss some of those regulations. An experienced lawyer can help you navigate your claim and could ultimately give you a much better chance at winning your case.
If you’ve been injured on the job, you may be entitled to benefits for missed wages and other expenses. To find out more about filing a claim and getting the results you deserve, please contact us today to set up a consultation.