Your job is relatively uneventful. You and your fellow employees take all the safety precautions required and follow all the proper guidelines. However, there may come a time when an unfortunate event occurs that causes you to get hurt. When an accident happens during the normal course of business, you may be entitled to medical care and other financial benefits under your employer’s workers’ compensation insurance. If you aren’t familiar with what is covered, it’s a good idea to familiarize yourself with the basics.
Ask Human Resources
If you want to ensure that your employer carries workers’ compensation insurance, you may want to check with management or the department in charge of benefits. This is typically known as human resources or employee relations. It is within your right to know if your employer carries this type of coverage. Some do not have to carry workers’ compensation insurance. The laws of your state dictate what the parameters are for insurance.
Coverage Provided by Workers’ Compensation Insurance
Falling off a ladder and breaking a bone may incapacitate you for quite a while. As long as you were practicing company-mandated safety procedures, and your employer carries insurance, you should be able to file a claim. As soon as you have an accident, it is imperative that you report it. It doesn’t have to be something as severe as a fracture – many other injuries may be eligible for workers’ compensation coverage such as:
- Muscle strains and sprains
- Illness caused by an environmental hazard
- Heart attacks and strokes
- Psychological issues such as anxiety
- Repetitive injuries such as carpal tunnel syndrome
When it comes to psychological issues and repetitive injuries, you have to prove that the conditions were caused by your job. If you do not do something that requires you to use your hands all day, every day, you probably won’t qualify for a carpal tunnel claim.
The Claims Process
Once you report the injury or illness, the insurance provider will start the investigative process. This may involve you filling out a detailed report, speaking to a claims adjuster, handing over medical records and perhaps even witness interviews. During the early process, the insurance company may start paying medical providers directly for your treatment. They may also start paying you unemployment benefits if you can’t work. If the investigation concludes and the injury is confirmed to be work-related, the insurance company may also pay for your medication and any therapy and treatment associated with your continued care including surgery.
Speaking with a workers’ compensation lawyer in your area may give you the best shot at recovering all of your medical bills and expenses. An advocate who understands how the process works is a good ally, especially if you suspect the company may challenge your injury.