You probably know you can file for workers’ compensation if you are injured at work. However, you may believe some common myths about work accidents and workers’ compensation.
These myths have been circulating for quite some time. What you may believe to be true could in fact be false, and it could be standing in the way of you getting benefits that you’re entitled to.
No matter what kind of job you have, you should learn how to separate fact from fiction. These are the 7 most common myths about work accidents and worker’s compensation.
Myth #1: You Must Be Doing Your Job When You Sustain the Injury
One of the biggest myths about being eligible for workers’ compensation is that you need to be doing your job when you’re injured. While it is true that you must suffer this injury in the course of your employment, you could be doing activities that are related to your job as well as those that are not.
In an office building setting, if you fell down the stairs, you could receive workers’ compensation for your injuries. On a construction site, if you were heading on your break and were hit with falling objects, you would also be able to get benefits.
Myth #2: You Must Be at Work When You Get Hurt
If you get into an accident while commuting to and from work, you’re generally not eligible for workers’ comp unless you drive a company car. However, if you are in sales and drive your car around to meet clients, you can file for your workers’ compensation benefits. Just because you have a job that requires you to move about to different locations each day doesn’t mean you can’t file a claim.
Myth #3: Workers’ Compensation Is the Only Option
While workers’ compensation is in place as a tradeoff for suing, there are certain scenarios where you can file a personal injury claim. One would be if your company was willfully negligent and this negligence resulted in your injuries. The other would be if a third party was responsible for your injuries, such as the manufacturer of safety equipment you use at your construction job.
Myth #4: Your Employer Will Ensure You Get Maximum Benefits
Your employer is required to have workers’ compensation and must file your paperwork when you report an injury. However, beyond that, their role will be limited. They’re not going to do anything to maximize your benefits. In fact, some employers will dispute your claim, which is why it is always smart to consult with a lawyer when you’ve been injured at work.
Myth #5: Your Employer Could Fire You for Filing a Claim
It is against the law for any employer to fire an employee who files for workers’ compensation. Filing for workers’ compensation shouldn’t put you at risk of losing your job. Keep in mind that it is illegal for an employer to discriminate against you based on physical or mental disabilities. That said, you are only subject to termination in the same way you were before you were injured or made ill from the conditions at your place of employment.
Myth #6: Workers’ Compensation Won’t Cover Repetitive Stress Injuries
Many workers believe that they can’t file for workers’ compensation unless they’ve had a horrific accident in the workplace. You should know that all work-related injuries are covered, no matter how they happen. It will certainly be more challenging to prove you have a repetitive stress injury like carpal tunnel syndrome, lower back pain, or even tennis elbow. However, with the help of an attorney, you will have legal guidance to ensure you get your benefits.
Myth #7: The Legal Fees for Hiring a Workers’ Comp Attorney Will Take Up All Your Benefits
Hiring an experienced workers’ compensation attorney is the best way to ensure you get the maximum benefits from your claim. These fees will not eat away at all of your benefits either. When you retain a work injury attorney, they work on a contingency fee basis. This means they will only retain a percentage of your compensation if the claim is successful. Before hiring one, you can even ask how much you can expect to pay them.
Keep in mind that you do not need a lawyer to file a workers’ compensation claim. Since there is so much potential for things to go awry, you may want to consider it. If your claim was denied or you’re experiencing other troubles with getting your benefits, you should make sure you set up a consultation to learn more about your rights.