The government has made workers compensation a mandatory insurance program to pay employees injured during work. States govern the workers’ compensation laws that aim to remove risk for the employee as well as the employer. Employees can recover medical expenses and lost wages. They also get disability payments and rehabilitation costs.
Similar programs are also available for federal employees. State governments administer the workers’ compensation system, wherein the employers have to finance it by mandatorily contributing for it.
What are the loop-holes in workers compensation system?
The advantage for employers is that the system eliminates the possibility of litigation even if the damages caused are more than the compensation. The disadvantage is that they have to pay the insurance premium even when an accident never occurs.
However, the employees stand to lose in such a scenario. They are not only barred from filing a lawsuit but also recover much less compensation. States also offer some exceptions wherein they can avoid the system and register a legal case for damages.
Employees can file a lawsuit against the employer if intentional harm is caused or the injury is due to exposure to toxic substances or defective products. States also allow employees to sue the third parties like landowners, subcontractors, and drivers.
Most employers deny workers compensation claims as if they pay out such cases, the insurance premium rates to be mandatorily paid automatically increase.
Why is it critical to retain a workers compensation lawyer?
If you have a complicated case that has left you in the hospital unable to work, and you feel that the compensation offered is not justified, you need to raise a claim. As insurance companies have expert lawyers protecting their interests, you might not stand a chance if you don’t have a legal counsel by your side.
The procedure in contested cases is complicated. The state workers compensation board investigates the claim, disputed by the employer, and renders a decision. On behalf of the state, a physician examines your injuries. You need to be careful about any statements you make during the physician’s evaluation as they may be used against you to dilute your claim.
If the workers’ compensation board rules the case against you, there is an option for appeal. Officials within the workers’ compensation department will first hear the appeal, and an administrative law judge will conduct the hearing. A review panel will look at your appeal if it moves further.
If the review panel doesn’t serve justice, you can take the case to state court. It is difficult for an injured employee to handle all the legal complications alone. Taking guidance from an experienced workers compensation attorney is beneficial in many ways.
In most probability, the workers’ compensation lawyer will settle your case out of court and get you the deserved compensation. Even if your case goes to court, the lawyer knows how to tilt it in your favor and can give a tough fight to the insurance company’s lawyers.
You don’t need a lawyer if your injury is minor and you have not faced any significant damages or missed work. But, if your situation is complicated, you should not waste time consulting an experienced lawyer in your area. LawTally makes it easy for you to find the most appropriate lawyer for your case.