Worker's compensation is a safety net that prevents people from facing financial ruin due to an injury at work. The program is a beneficial one for employees, but it is something that is expensive for employers that have a workplace that experiences a lot of claims. Some employers have become experts at finding ways to argue successfully against their employees. This is acceptable when the claim is false, but it is devastating to a genuinely injured employee that has their claim denied. Here are common ways some employers try to reduce successful claims against them.
Discouraging Accident Reports
Employees should complete a report on their injury within 24 hours or at least notify the human resources department if they are unable to file a claim on their own. By waiting, the employee could forfeit their claim or at least damage the validity of their account of the injury occurring at work. Unethical employers may encourage the injured employee to take a couple of days off to rest rather than allow them to complete their claim.
Denying the Injury
Some employers will simply deny the injury. They may claim a back injury happened over the weekend when the employee was working on their home or that their wrist broke when they slipped on the sidewalk before getting to work. Always make certain to get statements from any witnesses when an accident occurs.
Blaming the Employee
Employers might tell others that they are not responsible for an injury because the employee caused it with their own behavior. This may be correct if the employee was doing something irresponsible, like riding on the top of a forklift or surfing on a conveyor belt. However, common mistakes like lifting incorrectly, tripping over something on the floor, or losing balance and falling off a ladder are all covered regardless of whether or not the employer thinks they should have been preventable.
Changing the Details
Employers can change the initial report details to make it seem as if the story the employee told them is different than what the employee explained to their doctor. Employees should complete their own paperwork whenever possible and always read reports written by someone else before signing them.
Using Immigration Status
Undocumented workers face a number of work-related issues based on their legal status. In some states they are not covered by worker's compensation, and in other states they have the same rights as all other workers. The worker should contact their local worker's compensation official to determine if an employer is being honest about whether or not they have coverage.
Most employers are reputable, honest people that want their injured employees to get the help they need. Unfortunately, employees that lack this type of boss are often treated unfairly. Losing a job and not having the means to get necessary medical care following an injury is unacceptable. Contacting a worker's compensation attorney is the first step any employee should take if the information their employer gives them seems inaccurate.
If you are unable to resolve the situation with your employer, you may need to hire a worker's compensation lawyer. If this is the case, contact firms such as Shaw Leslie Law Office to get going on your case.
After I got into an accident a few years ago, I realized that I needed to hire an attorney, and fast. I didn't know how to proceed through the course of the investigation by my insurance company, so I searched the area for a personal injury lawyer who could help. I was really impressed with how intelligent my lawyer was and how hard he worked to make things right with my case. After a few months, my lawsuit was settled, and I really felt like I couldn't have done it without him. This blog is all about understanding personal injury law and the benefits of working with a lawyer.