Injuries on the workplace are never any fun, and workers’ compensation can be a difficult thing to manage and understand, both in terms of how to receive it and what you are expected to do once you are on it. This is especially true when one considers that different states have different rules and regulations to do with how workers’ compensation is handled. In order to better acclimate you to the general idea of how workers’ compensation is handled, we will cover the process, what an employer is expected to do, and what you are expected to do under workers’ comp.
Understanding how workers’ comp works
Basically, workers’ compensation is a system where, when someone is injured on the job (either through a normal injury or illness), the employer is expected to provide compensation to cover their medical bills and, if necessary, cover for them while they recover from the injury.
Workers’ comp exists to help ensure that employees have an adequate amount of time and support to allow their injuries to recover, but it is not entirely a system meant to only help employees.
While it protects them, it also protects the employers by ensuring that they are protected from liability for injuries, although there are potential exceptions to this rule, especially when state differences are taken into account. When on workers’ comp, employees are expected to fulfill certain obligations, such as not doing actions that should be prohibitive from their injury or sicknesses.
Workers’ comp also aims to help get employees back to work the best they can. For example, if you receive an injury which prevents you from working in that place of business for the extended future, they will help you transition to a career that fits in with your new limitations, such that you can get back to work.
Perhaps the biggest problem that is faced with people receiving workers’ comp or those seeking to receive it is an employer that is being difficult. Sometimes, an employer will simply deny a workers’ comp claim, even if it is obvious that they should have not done so.
One of the reasons why an employer may deny your claim is, sadly, going to be related to cost and reputation. Namely, an employer does not want there to be a lot of employees making workers’ comp claims. The first reason for why this is the case is due to them wanting to avoid having their insurance premiums rise for too many workers’ comp forms.
Workers’ comp is covered by insurance, and there is an expectation that they keep this down as low as they possibly can, in order to avoid that premium increase. Unfortunately, all too many employers take the wrong approach for how to do this. The appropriate way for an employer to accomplish this, as we wall would expect, is to make sure that their place of work takes great care to ensure that injuries are kept as low as possible.
Unfortunately, some employers will instead try to deny workers’ comp claims in order to make it more difficult to make it seem like they are doing better than they actually are. Granted, there are undeniably some people who abuse the system in order to cheat their employers, but that is no excuse for employers to try to cheat their employees.
The other reason why employers try to keep workers’ comp claims as low as they can is for reputation purposes; namely, if they are paying out a lot of workers’ compensation claims, it makes it seem like their business is an unsafe place to work, which is the last impression that an employer wants to project.
There are some particular reasons that are commonly cited for why a workers’ comp claim is denied. One of these is because, allegedly, the injury sustained was not serious enough to justify paying out.
Meanwhile, if the injury is non-minor, they may argue that no medical care was required for it, or that the injury was not so severe that they needed to take off any work.
If any of these arguments fail, they may follow that up by trying to find reasons to deny it. They may claim that the injury did not actually occur at the workplace, or failing that, they may claim that it did not occur as a result of any actions they were expected to do as part of their employment. These are easier for them to prove if it was the case, but in turn, if it is not the case, it is going to seem flimsy and make them seem as though they are unlawfully attempting to deny the compensation that you deserve.
In the event that your employer appears to be unfairly denying your workers’ comp claim, you would be well advised to consult an experienced workers’ comp attorney who can help make sure that your employer no longer feels they can justify pursuing this. At this stage, you may also escalate things to your state’s workers’ compensation board, which will hopefully help you get the compensation that you are entitled to.