Imagine working for a company and being injured at your job – this is the unfortunate truth of many people working in the United States every year. Because of illnesses and injuries at work, people are typically entitled to workers compensation benefits. First, though, you have to understand how workers compensation works. It is an insurance program that is required by state law and provides payment to employees who suffer from work-related injuries or illness. Those who are eligible will receive compensation for lost work and their accrued medical bills, no matter who was at fault for the injury. However, if they file, they forfeit the ability to sue their employers for what happened. The person or company that the person was working for must carry the compensation insurance, you must be a direct employee of that person or company, and your injury absolutely must be work-related in nature.
So, when can you file and how long do you have?
You are able to file a claim for workers compensation benefits as soon as you have become injured on the job or develop a work-related illness. Delaying filing after you’ve become injured could give you a disadvantage later down the road. It has the potential of allowing a workers’ compensation insurance carrier to deny the benefits as well as throwing up red flags to the insurance carrier than a benefits claim is not legitimate after all.
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Some people run into issues when they have developed an illness that takes time to manifest or show symptoms. For instance, what if you develop mesothelioma or carpal tunnel syndrome, which are both cumulative injuries? In these cases, the clock starts to tick toward your deadline when you took the time off from work to see a doctor about the injury, and you should have known that the injury was caused by your line of work.
To initiate the workers’ compensation process, one must notify their employer of the injury or work-related illness. In most states, afterwards, one will have to file a formal workers compensation claim. Employer notification should include details and good record-keeping of things like the date, time, and place of the injury, as well as how it occurred. A worker may even wish to provide a list of witnesses who may have been involved.
You may meet all of the general eligibility requirements for workers compensation, but do you still really qualify? You may not if you fall into a special group of workers category who are exempt from this type of coverage. Domestic workers who work at home, agricultural and farm workers, leased or loan workers, seasonal workers, and undocumented workers will all unlikely be covered for benefits.
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Workers’ compensation falls under a highly complex set of rules. If you believe you qualify and may have a case, you will want an experienced attorney on your side. Call MDL today to schedule a free consultation to discuss your case and get a review to see if you have a real claim.