Employees rights and responsibilities under workers compensation laws vary from state to state. Some states have very specific rights, while others may be more permissive. As an employee, it is important to understand these laws and what your specific rights and responsibilities are in order to properly protect yourself in the event of an injury or illness arising out of work. Here are some things you should know about employees’ rights and responsibilities under workers compensation:
1. Your Employer Must Carry Workers’ Compensation Insurance
Depending on the state you work in, your employer is legally required to carry workers’ compensation insurance for their employees. This means that if you are injured at work or contract an occupational illness, you could be eligible for benefits under the policy.
2. Benefits Vary By State
While all states have laws concerning workers’ compensation insurance, these employee rights laws vary from state to state. As such, the benefits offered by each state’s workers’ compensation laws may also differ significantly. Be sure to check with your state or local government agencies to learn more about the specific rights and responsibilities in your state.
3. You Must Report the Injury or Illness Immediately
In order to receive workers’ compensation benefits, you must report any injury or illness as soon as possible after it occurs. Generally, reporting within 30 days of the incident is recommended, though this timeline may differ from one state to another.
4. You May Be Eligible for Medical Care and/or Monetary Benefits
Depending on the severity of your injury or illness, you may be eligible for medical care and/or monetary benefits provided by the insurance policy. These benefits may include payment of wages lost due to the injury or illness, payment for medical expenses incurred during treatment, and other forms of financial compensation dependent upon individual cases.
5. You Must Follow Your Doctor’s Treatment Plan
In order to receive workers’ compensation benefits, you must follow the treatment plan prescribed by your physician. This may include taking medication or undergoing physical therapy, and it is important that you comply with this plan in order to ensure that you receive all of the necessary care and benefits.
6. You Have Limited Time to File a Claim
Depending on the state you work in, you may have a limited amount of time to file a claim for workers’ compensation benefits. Generally speaking, this process should be completed within one year of the injury or illness occurring; however, this timeline can vary from state to state so be sure to check with your local government agencies or with experienced workmans’ comp lawyers as soon as possible.
7. You May Be Required to Submit to an Independent Medical Examination
In some cases, your employer or their insurance company may require that you submit to an independent medical examination by a doctor of their choosing in order to verify the severity and circumstances of your injury or illness. This exam should be conducted free of charge, although you may need to pay out-of-pocket for any other related costs such as transportation expenses.
8. Your Employer Cannot Discriminate Against You
It is illegal for employers to discriminate against employees who have filed claims for workers’ compensation benefits. This includes discrimination in terms of hiring, firing or promotion decisions based on an employee’s status as a claimant or recipient of workers’ compensation benefits.
9. You Cannot Be Compensated For Pain and Suffering
Workers’ compensation laws limit the amount of money that can be awarded for pain and suffering resulting from a work-related injury or illness, as this is typically not compensable under these policies.
10. Consult an Attorney if Necessary
If you have questions about your rights and responsibilities, or if you are denied the benefits you believe you deserve, it is recommended that you consult with an attorney at http://www.workerscompensationlawyerssandiego.com who specializes in workers’ compensation law to ensure that your rights are being protected and that any disputes can be resolved quickly and amicably.
By understanding your rights and responsibilities under workers’ compensation insurance, you can ensure that any injuries or illnesses that occur on the job are appropriately taken care of and that you receive the benefits you deserve. If there is ever any confusion regarding your rights, do not hesitate to contact an attorney to ensure your interests are being protected.
Note: The above information is provided as a general overview only and is not intended to be used as legal advice. It is highly recommended that should you have legal questions concerning workers’ compensation insurance, please consult with an experienced attorney specializing in this area.