Understanding Your Rights If You’re Injured In The US Workplace
Employees should expect to have a reasonably safe work environment. They should be able to work without worrying that the nature of their work will put their health at risk. Unfortunately, some employers fail to fulfill their duty to their workers. The result is that workers get injured.
Not all workplace injuries are the result of employer negligence. Even though employers may make every effort to keep the workplace safe, injuries can arise, including lacerations, broken bones, illnesses, and psychological issues.
In all 50 states, there is an arrangement in place to help employees dealing with work-related injuries. It is up to injured employees to familiarize themselves with the laws that pertain to the injuries they sustained.
Types of Workplace Injuries
When a worker is injured in Washington state, they can access worker’s compensation benefits. Washington Labor and Industries administer these benefits.
However, if you are dealing with an on-the-job injury or dealing with an occupational-related mental disability or medical condition, filing a claim can feel overwhelming. There is a ton of red tape that makes the situation feel tiresome. You may feel that you do not have the energy to access the benefits the law entitles you to receive.
This is why many in Seattle look for the services of a Seattle L&I attorney. Attorneys may help their clients cut through the red tape and get a clear picture of the benefits they are entitled to receive. It is completely different to advocate for yourself instead of having experienced legal representation advocate for you.
One of the biggest obstacles in getting access to the benefits you might deserve is not knowing what benefits are available. You may not know whether your injury is going to be short-term or long-term. You may feel pressure to accept compensation that does not adequately cover your injury. An attorney may be able to help you navigate some of these challenges.
What to Do Immediately Following a Workplace Injury
If you get injured on the job, you may feel afraid to get proper medical treatment. You may feel worried that if your employer does not take responsibility for the injury, you will pay out-of-pocket for something you cannot afford.
An important part of protecting your rights after a workplace accident is making sure that you get the right medical treatment. Getting proper medical treatment allows you to document your injuries. It doesn’t matter if you were suddenly injured or if you developed a condition or illness as a result of exposure to chemicals or repetitive stress. You need a doctor to evaluate your situation and then document your illness.
You will likely be entitled to worker’s compensation for your injuries. However, you may also be entitled to compensation in addition to worker’s compensation. This may include the option of choosing to file a third-party injury claim. This is why it’s good to discuss this with your attorney. They can give you an unbiased opinion of your case to help you get the maximum value for it.
Worker’s compensation has a limit. However, this same limit does not exist for the amount of compensation you can receive connected to a personal injury claim. There are risks and rewards with filing a third-party claim. You need to understand these before making a decision.
Complex Issues Connected to Worker’s Compensation in the United States
Worker’s compensation issues in the United States can be complicated. In some states, the government has a monopoly on compensation insurance. In other parts of the United States, multiple insurance carriers compete to sell compensation policies using open market insurance. That’s important because, in a few states, one entity controls the insurance claim process from beginning to end, whereas there is more flexibility in others.
This can complicate the worker’s compensation process, leading to some inherent shortcomings and inequities. As a result, the worker’s compensation system does not always function as it was envisioned. When it works against employees, they need a legal advocate to help them keep their claim moving forward.
The hope is that you never get injured on the job. However, if you do, it is good for you to be familiar with your rights. You need to take the proper steps to ensure that you get all the care you need and are entitled to.