An accident is occurring in the United States of America and nearly 3.1 million injuries and illness in the workplace are reported according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. It is also a bad experience to get workers compensation according to the views of workers. So every worker should have a clear view of workers compensation and how it works.
About Workers Compensation & Process
It is commonly believed that a worker will get workers compensation due to injury in the workplace. Workers compensation includes medical expenses and rehabilitation costs. In case a worker is absent from work due to work injury, the employer is liable to pay lost wages. On the other hand, the death benefit is paid by the employer according to policies set by rules and regulations of the service.
In case of any injury, the worker must inform the authority by reporting the accident to the employer. Reporting should be as soon as possible. Most of the cases, due reporting cause complication in attaining benefit for the worker. There are different time frames of reporting accidents according to state rules. However, a worker must get medical expenses, lost wages and other benefits applicable from the employer.
Types of Accidents In The Workplace
Work injury depends on the work nature and hazard related to the work. If safety is neglected and ignored, an accident is most common to occur. So here we are going to discuss some types of work injury:
- Workers are often injured when they are working in the area of lifting, pushing, pulling and holding heavy weight compared to their capacity. According to occupational safety procedures, workers should follow all the safety manners to make sure they are not going to face an injury. They need to use a fork lift or any technical support to perform those works. So safety officer or compliance will be responsible to find out any hazard to risk so that there is no possibility of injury.
- Careless movement and indifference to ensure awareness among the workers both may cause to the casualty that leads to work place injury. In the production floor, where the floor gets wet so often, there is much possibility of injury that the worker may face. Workers may fall on the wet floor and their hips legs or any important part of the body may be fractured. Safety signs and awareness while moving on the floor to be ensured.
- Carelessness may cause a workplace injury. While on the job, the respective area should be blockage free. There is no guarantee or surety when fire accidents or earthquakes or hurricanes will arise. In those cases, workers may be stuck and they may face fatal injury in their lives.
- Repetitive motion, lack of proper ergonomics and moving parts of the machine and lack of safety precaution are some of the reason on the front. Therefore, both employees and employers should be careful to follow the safety procedure to prevent any kind of workplace injury.
Types of Workers Compensation
Medical Cost: Medical cost is dedicated to employees who are injured in the workplace. Workers’ compensation is liable to pay all types of medical expenses for the injured workers while on the job. It also includes cash benefits for the loss of work after a period of three to seven days waiting duration. This lost time in case of being a greater amount can’t be longer than this time. Medical costs are commonly paid which may come from a portion of overall payments according to the National Council on Compensation Insurance. In addition, this is a policy of workers compensation to pay the injured worker as mandatory payment in compliance with different state laws.
Disability on Temporary Injury: Disability on temporary injury is common, and it is light in nature. Workers may be injured and the severity may be temporary or permanent. If they suffer from a temporary disability, the temporary benefit is paid for injured workers according to workers compensation program. In most states, an injured worker may get full temporary disability and may return to work after injury improvement in compliance with doctor’s fitness certificate to work. This temporary benefit is fully cash benefits. The injured worker after getting may return to work even if before maximum recovery. In most states, when they also get temporary partial disability benefits at less than pre-injury wages
Permanent Disability: No one wants to be disabled permanently. But accident may occur in the blink of eyes. There is nothing to do then. Workplace injury may cause to temporary disability where workers may continue to work again. The workers injured while on the job may be also permanently disabled due to a serious accident. Workers compensation program pay permanent disability benefits for the injured employee. In addition to this, workers may be disabled partially and it may be permanent in nature that may not limit his capability of going back to work.
Fatal Injuries/Death benefits: Ultimate death may be the reason for fatal injuries. In case of death due to fatalities workers compensation is responsible to pay death benefits for the workers injured while on the job. The death benefits include some general costs like funeral expenses and burial expenses if the deceased employees have no dependent or family left. But employees may have dependent and they will get the benefit. If the deceased employees have family or dependent on his wages, then cash benefit according to workers compensation procedures is paid to them.
I Got Injured at Work What Should I Do
Initial Reporting: After an injury, it is important to report to his immediate supervisor if possible. If the injury gets so serious or the condition may be he is not able to move. His coworker or witnesses may report or inform his supervisor. Supervisor being informed will arrange medical facilities on an instant basis. The supervisor may report this injury case to his upper level and he must collect all information in this injury. He may also conduct an investigation for accurate information. Supervisor also must take effective steps to avoid injury related case in the future.
Claims Filing: Claim is a form that includes all kinds of information about the injured workers. The employees must file a claim to ensure payment for a work-related injury. It is important to get insurance coverage for the injury-related cases in order to arrange better medical facilities and carrying cost. This insurance typically pays also two-thirds of employee’s weekly gross pay as disability payments. In the event of unfitness to work for the work-related injury, the injured employees are going to get a monetary award for the permanent disability.
Receiving Compensation: The insurance company will scrutinize the papers submitted by the company authority. If all the papers are accurate and authentic related to the work injury, the insurance company will start to pay compensation. This compensation includes medical expenses, rehabilitation cost and two-thirds of the wage in case a worker is fully disabled to attend the work.
Rehabilitation: Injury may be different types like short term or long term. If the employees have short term injury, they have the possibility of coming back to work within a short time after getting medication. In the case of long term injury, the injured employees may need a long time to keep fit for the work. In this case, the injured employees may take long term rehabilitation care. In compliance with workers compensation laws, rehabilitation may be of two types like physical and vocational in nature. Physical rehabilitation includes therapy or counselling.
Joining The Work Again: A worker is injured and gets all kinds of compensation. But this injury may not be a lifetime. He/she can come back to work. In this case, a certified health professional will recommend which types of works a worker can take it as load. Works may be light and reduced schedule for the very start of coming back from injury. However, the employer will take the necessary steps to accommodate a worker to work so that he is not going to face any injury again.
Importance of Safety At Workplace
Occupational Safety and Health Administration are on duty to make employers and employees follow safety guidelines and monitor workplace safety while on the job. Under the Occupational Safety Act, employers are highly responsible to make sure a safe and securely fenced workplace. In the event of the possible hazard to risk or susceptibility of the accident, employees may report to safety in charge or compliance officer to take effective action. Additionally, they may also file a complaint with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration to commence an instant investigation process. This organization can disclose a company’s existing safety standard.
About The Federal Workers Compensation Law
Federal workers compensation laws are administered by the Department of Labor’s Office of Workers Compensation Programs and this law typically covers all states’ law. The four major federal programs are
Federal Workers Compensation
The Federal Compensation Act delivers for more than 3 million federal employees and workers in the area of postal workers worldwide. This important division accomplishes to pay all kinds of the medical bill, compensation and also supports a worker to get back in the work.
The Longshore and Harbor Workers Compensation Act
This act also delivers the same types of federal workers. It also ensures coverage for the maritime work just like longshore workers, shipbuilders, and harbor construction persons. This type of act also has a policy under defense base act for federal government employees working at overseas U.S Military bases and contractors who are working outside the united states for some projects approved by the government. Additionally, a provision of this act also covers offshore oil rig workers on the outer continental shelf
Energy Employees Compensation
The Energy Employees Occupational Illness Compensation started back in 2001 and spread in 2004. It ensures lump-sum compensation and health benefits to Department of Energy nuclear Weapons Workers. These workers also are of two types like current and former employees, contractors and subcontractors. When a worker is dead, certain survivors receive a lump-sum amount of payments.
Black Lung Compensation
The division of Coal Mine Workers Compensation is administering claims under the federal black lung benefits act. Some workers may be totally disabled in this area, and they can get compensation under this act. Valid miners also get all types of medical treatment for lung disease in relation to pneumoconiosis that is known as black lung disease. Compensation is ensured also to survivors of the coal miners during death attributed to black lung disease.
What To Do When Your Claim is Rejected
A claim can be rejected due to different reasons. Surely there are some companies without any sympathy to the workers. It is a noble job to manage workers compensation. Some companies help the worker to get compensation from the insurance company. But in some cases, the company may not be willing to pay this compensation when their financial strength is weak. A worker has to undergo stiff sufferings after an injury. When workers compensation is rejected, he/she can follow some steps.
Contact With Insurance Company Directly
When workers compensation is really rejected, the first and simple step is to contact the insurance company. Most often, it can be seen that a simple mistake on any document has stopped the process of attaining workers compensation. Additionally, the company has also skipped this issue. However, there is a chance to review and rectify the documents. In this case, the insurance company will justify the information provided by the worker and manage workers compensation.
File a Formal Appeal To The Administrative Agencies
The workers’ compensation commission is the organization that makes the final decision on the payment to be made for a work injury case. In some cases, the employer may delay the payment purpose or don’t pay the compensation on an instant basis. It does not mean that the injured worker won’t get compensation. If that is the case, the employee at first applies to the compensation commission in writing to get hearing in relation to compensation.
Commission then may form a hearing process to support the employee. In this time, the employee should collect all the documents and records. He may show his medical records, bill, medical reports, testimony, witness and valid evidence to prove that it was a work-related injury.
In some cases, the decision may come as the reemployment of the injured worker for light work. If that happens, salary or wage and promotion may be very slow for the job duration. In that case, the employee may submit all kinds of evidence to be able and fit to the work.
However, on the hearing day, an employee has the legal right to have work injury lawyer to scrutinize the fair result over his case. Any kind of attorney’s fees is generally subject to the approval by the commission. Attorney will examine and evaluate your claim process in the fairway.
After the first hearing, a decision may be made by the commission and you may not agree with. So you may review the decision in writing within 20 days.
Hire an Attorney To Handle Your Appeal
When workers compensation is ceased in all ways, a worker can hire an attorney or work injury lawyer. This may be the last step of the worker. An attorney will work on behalf of a worker based on a percentage or fixed charge. Attorney’s fee is fixed on the conversation between a worker and attorney.
An attorney will examine the case and work for getting workers compensation. He may collect all documents again and draft necessary documents to make sure the worker is going to get compensation.
Workers compensation is the legal right for the worker. It can’t be ignored anyway. The company is all in all to manage this compensation. But in many cases, it is hard to get for the workers. Obviously, there are good companies who help worker gain compensation. But complains of not getting compensation are also increasing. There are a lot of platforms on which a worker can get full compensation as legal rights.