Find An Employment Lawyer For Workers' Compensation
Have you been injured at work? You should consult a Workers Compensation Attorney immediately. After reading through our content on Workers' Comp, you can start the process of finding an employment attorney for your case by clicking on the blue FIND an ATTORNEY button.
Workers compensation insurance known as simply workers' comp or workers compensation is a form of insurance that gives employees medical care compensation if they're hurt at work. If you need to file a workers' comp legal claim, talk to an employment attorney or workers compensation lawyer.
In exchange, the worker agrees to give up his or her right to sue the employer.
The trade-off between assured coverage and lack of recourse outside the worker compensation system is known as the compensation bargain.
Workers' compensation is primarily a private insurance system and most employers buy an insurance policy and pay premiums to an insurance company. The company pays the medical bills and indemnity benefits when an injured worker has a workers comp claim.
Some large businesses and government agencies, with state approval, administer their own programs and pay their own workers comp claims.
Workers compensation protects both workers and employees. Workers are protected because they will receive benefits no matter what caused their accident, and employers are protected because their costs are limited to the benefits set out in the law.
The system is intended to prevent costly lawsuits to decide who was responsible for causing an injury. If an injury or illness is covered under the workers compensation system, the employer is financially responsible for paying the costs. Contact a wrongful termination attorney or employment lawyer if you believe you deserve workers compensation.
Once a worker is covered by workers' compensation, an injured worker cannot sue except under the provisions of the Workers' Compensation Act.
Workers' compensation coverage is required for all employment
Employers should be aware that they bear liability for anyone they employ. There is no exception for non-profits, for limited work hours, or even for temporary or seasonal employment.
Workers compensation laws were passed to reduce the need for litigation, and to mitigate the requirement that injured workers prove their injuries were their employer's fault.
In the United States, most employees who are injured on the job have an absolute right to medical care for that injury, and in many cases, monetary payments to compensate for resulting temporary or permanent disabilities. With the help of a wrongful termination lawyer or employment attorney, you can get the compensation that is deserved
Most employers are required to subscribe to insurance for workers' compensation; an employer who does not may have financial penalties imposed. In many states, there are public uninsured employer funds to pay benefits to workers employed by companies who illegally fail to buy insurance.If you feel you are not getting compensated for your injuries by your employer, talk to a workers' compensation attorney about the details of your case.
While workers comp plans differ across the country, provision can be made for weekly payments in place of wages, which is like a form of disability insurance; compensation for economic loss; reimbursement or payment of medical and like expenses, which amounts to a form of health insurance; and benefits payable to the dependents of workers killed during employment, which amounts to a form of life insurance.
General damages for pain and suffering and punitive damages for employer negligence are generally not available in worker compensation plans.
Who Can Sue
An injured worker cannot sue except under the provisions of the Workers' Compensation Act, which is why a worker who has been injured on the job and is contesting payment ,should consult an employment attorney or workers compensation lawyer knowledgeable in this area of law.
Some employers aggressively fight employee claims for workers compensation payments. In any contested case, or in any case involving serious injury, an employment lawyer with specific experience in handling workers compensation claim on behalf of injured workers should be consulted. In many states, laws limit a claimant's legal expenses to a certain fraction of an award; such contingency fees are payable only if the recovery is successful. In some states, the fee can be as high as 40 percent or as little as 11 percent of the monetary award recovered, if any.
In most states, original jurisdiction over workers compensation disputes has been transferred by statute from the trial courts to special administrative agencies. Within such agencies, disputes are usually handled informally by administrative law judges.
Appeals may be taken to an appeals board, and from there into the state court systems.
Injured workers sometimes complain that insurance companies do not treat them fairly or in compliance with the law, while employers often complain about the costs of insurance being driven up by exaggerated or fraudulent claims.
The statute of limitations for filing a compensation claim for an accidental injury varies from state to state. A workers compensation attorney or employment lawyer can help you with your state's statue of limitations.
It is illegal in most states for an employer to terminate or refuse to hire an employee for having reported a workforce injury or filed a workers compensation claim. But, it is not often easy to prove discrimination on the basis of the employees' claims history.
To abate discrimination of this type, some states have created a "subsequent injury trust fund" which will reimburse insurers for benefits paid to workers who suffer aggravation or recurrence of a compensable injury.
Employees may not falsely claim benefits. There have been cases where videos have been recorded by private investigators that show employees taking part in sports or other strenuous physical activities even though the employers claim they suffered disability or injury.
Such evidence may not be admissible at a trial, if it is found that the injury infringed on the employees' reasonable expectation of privacy.
Workers compensation pays the injured employee regardless of whether the employer or anyone else was negligent, or even if the employee's own negligence contributed to his injuries. But the trade-off for certainty of payment is that the compensation is grossly inadequate in cases of death or disabling injury and the employer cannot be sued.
The employment attorney or wrongful termination lawyer contacted by a person who was badly injured on the job must look for a viable "third-party defendant."
The third party defendant is a person or entity, other than the employer or a fellow employee, whose negligence contributed to the injury. For example, a negligent subcontractor in a construction accident case might be a third party defendant. If the workplace injury was caused by a defective product, the product manufacturer could be a third party defendant.
Sometimes, maintenance of security on a work site is performed by an entity other than the employer. In the appropriate case, they might be third party defendants.
In 2002, a Florida appellate court said that a worker who was repeatedly denied medical treatment by his workers' compensation insurance carrier can file suit against it for intentional infliction of emotional distress.
Defendants moved to dismiss, asserting workers' compensation immunity. The trial court denied defendants' motion, finding that the facts alleged fell outside the scope of the immunity.
While most injured workers recovery quickly, those more seriously injured may have difficulty with their employer or with the compensation system. Those workers may benefit from consulting with an employment attorney or workers compensation lawyer.
Ordinarily, an employee who qualifies for workers compensation benefits may not file a personal injury suit against the employer.
There are two narrow exceptions where workers compensation pre-emption might not apply, and an employer might not be subject to lawsuit.
* When an employer intentionally causes injury to an employee.
* When an employer is required to carry workers compensation coverage but fails to do so.
Learn More About Who Can Sue For Workers' Compensation
A catastrophic workers compensation claim can have serious insurance implications for an employer. But, if a third party caused the loss, some insurers are helping their insured’s to recover those benefits and avoid costly premium hikes.
Employers are most often concerned about the individual's well-being when an employee is injured on the job. They're focused on getting the person back to work as soon as possible.
If an employee's injury was caused by a potentially liable third party such as in a car accident or the failure of a piece of machinery employers should perhaps consider something else: costs. They may be able to recover any workers' compensation benefits paid out by their insurance carrier and avoid costly premium hikes.
Carriers often have in-house subrogation professionals to review claims with subrogation potential once an insurer receives a first report of injury. The subrogation staff may include claims handlers with expertise in identifying recovery potential or attorneys with experience handling third-party claims.
Having the appropriate legal expertise to handle the claim is particularly important.
If the employee's injury was caused by a third party as opposed to a co-worker or the employer, he or she may also have the right to file a civil lawsuit to receive compensation in addition to any workers' compensation benefits they may receive. A workers compensation attorney or employment lawyer can also file a civil lawsuit for workers comp related claims.
If the employee has suffered a work-related injury that was caused in part or in total by a third party, it is important to contact an employment attorney or workers compensation lawyer who has significant experience in both personal injury and worker compensation claims who can seek maximum compensation on the employee's behalf.