Have you been harmed while performing job-related duties? No need to worry, as the worker’s compensation law aims to help people like you to recover losses. It is a type of mandatory, though each state has its peculiar and different rules regulating the worker’s compensation system.
The worker’s compensation law covers a certain number of areas including:
- Injuries or loss of limbs
- Injuries caused at work
- Medical treatment
- Lost wages
- Death, etc.
Sometimes entrepreneurs may think that workers compensation is just another business expense and nothing more. But offering compensation for the employee can protect the employer from any litigation if an employee happens to get injured or gets ill because of the job.
Did you know?
You should know the following things about workers compensation to protect your rights as an employee when needed.
Pre-existing conditions worsened by work?
When you have some injuries caused, aggravated or made worse because of the work, you may be facing a compensable injury claim. It is noteworthy, that even when your health condition became worse because of the work, the worker’s compensation may cover that condition.
Workers compensation covers even when it is your fault
Workers compensation is kind of a ”no fault” program. Consequently, if your actions led to some injuries, in the majority of cases the program will cover the losses. Surely, there are certain exceptions for intentional acts and injuries.
No preauthorization for the treatment
The medical coverage is for any treatment which is necessary to cure the work injury. Obviously, doctors want to get payments, but there is no requirement that an insurance adjuster pre-authorizes treatment.
Your benefits still going on
As soon as you start to receive your benefits, the insurance carrier cannot just pay you off. Your workers compensation benefits will continue until you return to work and issue a Notice of Modification/Suspension and sign a Supplemental Agreement.
Cheaters get caught sooner or later
Unfortunately, cheating (filing false claims) is a very common behavior when it comes to workers compensation claims. There is even a term ”malingering” when the employee, employer or health care provider tries to get compensation through the unfair and dishonest way. For example, the employee may exaggerate the extent of the injury to receive more compensation. Actually, it may take awhile to uncover the fraud but eventually if the truth comes out the perpetrator may end up in jail.
More than just monetary compensation
The workers compensation system covers not only medical bills but also grants with some rehabilitation benefits (depends on a state). In fact, the number and essence of benefits depend both on the seriousness of the injury and state’s workers compensation law.
California law on compensation
The workers compensation system in California is under the California Labor Code. There are certain rules which envisage some important deadlines, types of benefits, employer’s obligations, etc. For example, Section 5401 gives an overall idea on deadlines regarding the compensation.
”Within one working day of receiving notice or knowledge of injury under Section 5400 or 5402 , which injury results in lost time beyond the employee’s work shift at the time of injury or which results in medical treatment beyond first aid, the employer shall provide, personally or by first-class mail, a claim form and a notice of potential eligibility for benefits under this division to the injured employee, or in the case of death, to his or her dependents.”
What refers to employer’s obligations, Section 5402 states:
”Within 1 day of notice of injury, an employer must provide claim form and authorize medical treatment (up to $10,000) while a claim is pending; the injury is presumed covered if a claim is not rejected within 90 days.’Within one working day after an employee files a claim form under Section 5401 the employer shall authorize the provision of all treatment, consistent with Section 5307.27.”
If you feel that you were wronged or injured at your workplace, and/or you don’t get the benefits you were eligible for as an employee, don’t hesitate to contact our attorneys. They are always ready to advise you and provide the legal support you need. Our skillful employment attorneys know all of the ins and outs of workers compensation law. Chose your attorney from our staff and let justice prevail over your case.