Getting hurt on the job is not something most people want to think about, especially if you are the sole provider for your family. If you are injured at work, it is possible that you may have to take time off which could result in lost wages. However, depending on the circumstances of the work-related injury, you may be entitled to workers’ compensation. Every state has different rules for workers’ compensation, so be sure to check your state’s employment agency to get a full rundown of how work-injuries are handled in your area. This article will list out some aspects of workers compensation that are not widely known, but could help you if you become hurt on the job.
1. Work exposures are covered – if you work in a facility that uses chemicals, you may be exposed to potentially dangerous toxins. If you have been diagnosed with a disease, be sure to talk to your doctor about the different chemicals that are present in your workplace. Material safety data sheets (MSDS) are available for all employees.
2. Pre-existing conditions are covered – If you have a disease that is worsened by your job, you are likely going to be covered for your injuries. For instance, if you had mild asthma before you started your job, but after months of working you developed severe asthma, your workplace conditions may be the cause. Always collect documentation of the chemicals and irritants that are present in your workplace.
3. Scars – If you were injured at work and your injury scarred, you may be entitled to compensation. For example, say a pipe fell from your workplace ceiling onto your face. This resulted in injuries that required surgery, and that surgery left a facial scar – you may be able to collect benefits from this facial scarring or if your face suffered disfigurement.
4. Hearing loss – If your workplace has hazardous noise conditions and you suffer from hearing loss, you could be entitled to compensation. You will need to prove that the noise levels at your workplace are consistently loud and that your hearing loss is related to your workplace noise conditions.
5. No fault – Even if your actions at work caused your injuries, you are more than likely going to be compensated for your injuries.
6. No pre-authorization for treatment – If your work injuries require medical treatment, you do not need pre-authorization from your employer’s insurance adjuster as long as the treatment is reasonable and necessary.
7. You may have to return to work on light duty – If your work-related injury is mild, you may still need to report to work on light duty if your doctor releases you to do so. It is important to keep in contact with your doctor to see how your injury heals. If your injury worsens, you may be ordered to take extended time off from work. If your doctor does release you to work, always talk with your attorney to make sure that you are legally protected.
Always consult with a workers’ compensation attorney to discuss your claim. Work-related injuries are complex and may take time to resolve with insurance companies. The attorneys at Bighorn Law are experienced with workers’ compensation claims and know how to get you the compensation that you are entitled to.