The Many Myths of Workers’ Compensation
If you have been injured on the job, you have probably considered filing a workers’ compensation claim. However, along the way you may have heard some negative things about the workers’ comp process and what to expect. Today we are here to set the record straight on some very important comp matters and how you case will actually be handled by stomping out some of the most common myths in the realm of workers’ comp.
The Myth: If I was at fault, I can’t receive workers’ compensation.
In an injury case, if you were the cause of your injury, you may think that you can’t receive workers’ compensation benefits. At some point, you may have even heard this from a boss in an attempt to deter you from filing. Even if an employee was entirely at fault for an accident, they can still be entitled to worker’s comp because of the “no-fault” system. There is a bit of a pay-off for both the worker and the employer: No, you won’t be able to sue your employer in court for your injuries… BUT you will have your workplace injuries covered regardless of fault, even if that fault was solely due to yourself.
This means that, when your eligibility for workers’ comp is questioned, you should not run into any issues. Even in cases where negligence may have been at play on your part, you should expect to receive workers’ comp regardless unless you were under the influence or involved in horseplay – and you will receive the payment of medical bills and so much more that you deserve.
The Myth: My boss will fire me if I pursue a workers’ compensation claim.
So let’s say that you have been injured on the job and your employer is now threatening to fire you – are they permitted to do so ? The answer is “no,” your employer is not legally permitted to fire you for suffering from an injury at work. According to Workers’ Compensation law, they cannot terminate you without a reasonable cause and there is no cause in this case. This is known as “retaliation” and can land an employer in a lot of trouble. There are laws on both a federal and state level to protect you from losing your job if you wish to bring a claim. Combine that with help from an experienced attorney and you will see the results you were hoping for!
The Myth: I can wait as long as I need to file a claim.
Unfortunately, you must be aware of the fact that there are time limits on your claim. These time limits vary from state to state, but in New Jersey the statute of limitations on workers’ compensation claims is two years. The clock starts at the time of the injury occurrence. But what happens if your injury occurs over time and you were unaware of it at the beginning? The limitations may start when you first took off work because of the injury, or when you should have known reasonably that the injury you suffered was work-related.
Because of these many myths, you should always speak to a workers’ compensation attorney about your rights. Your work injury is nothing to mess around with and you should always receive the best information possible about how to handle your case. This is why it is in your best interest to call us today. At Maggiano, DiGirolamo & Lizzi, we care about you and your outcome.