Common Misconceptions About Workers' Compensation
Some Wrong Ideas About On-The-Job Injuries
Most people are at least vaguely familiar with the term “workers’ compensation,” but few people understand how it works until it matters to them personally. You may have doubts about what workers’ comp is about. Here, Litton & Chaney Law Firm busts common myths to help you understand how your claim may go after a workplace accident or injury..
Is it true?
1. Getting workers’ compensation benefits comes about through filing a lawsuit against an employer after an injury on the job.
No. A work comp claim goes directly to an employer’s workers’ compensation insurer. In case of a denial or stopped payments, an employee can file an administrative appeal. There is rarely a justifiable reason to file a lawsuit against an employer after a workplace injury.
2. Workers’ compensation includes provisions for pain and suffering.
Also no. Workers’ compensation benefits may include: (1) medical care; (2) for temporary disability, 70% of lost wages after an initial three-day period and lasting until the employee can return to work; (3) 70% of lost wages for permanent disability, lasting 15 years or until eligibility for retirement begins; (4) death benefits for qualifying family members; and/or (5) vocational retraining.
3. A third-party liability claim is part of a workers’ compensation claim.
Not so. If you have a third-party liability claim, it will be a personal injury case over and above – and separate from – your workers’ compensation claim. Your opponent will be someone who is not your employer, such as a delivery company, an inspector or a subcontractor. It may include a claim for pain and suffering.
4. An injured worker can simply get medical treatment and then bring invoices or receipts from health care providers to be reimbursed by an employer after a workplace accident.
This is not quite how it works. If you are able, you should tell your supervisor or human resources (HR) department about an injury. Your employer will then help ensure that you get the medical care you need. You can request a change in doctors later, if you wish.
5. Workers’ compensation is for employees with physically strenuous occupations like construction workers and butchers.
Not only those occupations. Indeed, the most common occupations of seriously injured workers in Oklahoma have included meat processing, oil refinery work, machinery manufacturing, urban transit work, policing, corrections facility work and firefighting. However, even office work can result in toxic exposure illnesses in buildings with hazardous conditions and repetitive stress injuries such as carpal tunnel syndrome. No work environment or activity is completely without risk of injury of some kind.
Get Your Own Myths Busted and Questions Answered After a Workplace Accident
Litton Law Firm can evaluate your case after an on-the-job injury to determine (1) whether you have a workers’ compensation claim; (2) whether you also have a third-party liability claim and (3) how you can appeal if the workers’ comp insurer pays too little or too late. We are here to answer your questions and recommend the next steps toward recovery after a workplace accident. To schedule a free consultation, call or send an online inquiry through this website.