Myths and misconceptions about the rights that injured workers have can lead to individuals making a variety of poor decisions as they are attempting to navigate the process of pursuing compensation for injuries that they suffered while performing their work-related duties.
Myth: A Workers' Compensation Claim Is Not Time Sensitive
When a person has suffered an injury that may qualify for worker's compensation coverage, it is imperative for them to treat this matter as an urgent issue to address. There are time limits that must be met when applying for workers' compensation claims, and if you were to miss this window, it may no longer be possible to pursue the compensation that you could have been entitled to. There can also be important practical reasons for filing this claim as quickly as possible. There may be evidence to help prove that your injury occurred while you were at work, and waiting too long may lead to this evidence degrading or being lost. By acting quickly, you can preserve this information so that it will be available in the event that your workers' compensation claim encounters problems.
Myth: Every Employee Will Enjoy Worker's Compensation Protection
While the majority of employees will be protected with workers' compensation coverage, there are categories of employers that may be exempt from having to provide this coverage to their workers. A common example of this type of exemption can be for smaller enterprises. Depending on the state, a company may need to have a minimum number of employees before they are legally obligated to carry this coverage. Reviewing the local laws for your area can help you with assessing whether you are entitled to this type of protection.
Myth: Workers' Compensation Claims Provide The Same Compensation As A Civil Lawsuit
Civil injury lawsuits can result in the victim qualifying for a variety of different types of compensation. One of the more well-known types of compensation can be for individuals that have experienced trauma or pain and suffering. However, workers' compensation coverage will typically only apply to the worker's injuries and the financial losses that they inured from missing shifts. While this coverage can be more limited, individuals may still be able to pursue legal action. Generally, the employer will be shielded from lawsuits by the workers' compensation coverage. However, the employee may still be able to take action against other parties responsible for their injuries. An example of this could be the building owner that failed to maintain the sidewalk leading from the business to the dumpster.
To better understand your case, contact a workers' compensation lawyer.