Workplace Injury On-Site: What are Your Legal Rights?

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Getting injured on-site is very common, especially when you’re working in specific hands-on fields. If you’re working in construction, in a factory, or even as a driver, the nature of your work can put you under greater risk of getting injured while carrying out your duties.

However, there are many factors that can determine what compensation you’re entitled to, depending on various aspects. If you’ve been injured while doing your job, here is a brief explanation of all the legal rights you are entitled to. 

Workers’ Compensation Coverage

In most cases, if the nature of your job puts you at risk of being in danger of getting involved in certain accidents, your company is required to have workers’ compensation coverage, which helps compensate an employee when an accident occurs. This insurance usually covers the cost of the employee’s injuries and any illness or hospital bills that occur as a result of the accident.

Not only that, but it also compensates the employee for lost time, allowing them to still receive their wages, as the accident or injury is the only reason preventing them from actually doing their job. There are also certain insurance policies that can further cover the legal expenses if the worker decides to sue the company for damages that have occurred as a result of the accident.

Report the Accident 

There is a specific procedure and timeframe that an employee needs to follow in order to be eligible for worker’s compensation coverage. Based on the article at https://www.kaplanlawyers.com/workers-compensation-lawyers/, it is essential to follow the legal procedures to avoid waiving your rights. That means that an employee must file a report within 30 days after the occurrence of the accident.

However, it is always best to check the legal obligations according to your state, as they may differ. After the report is filed and your employer is informed of the accident, the next step involves filing a claim with the workers’ compensation court or the industrial court available in your state.

This is important not only to protect your rights and guarantee that you’re following the correct procedure, but also to notify your workplace, the court, and the insurance company of your injury in a formal way. That way, you get the process started, and the automatic protection takes effect to help determine what you’re entitled to. 

Consult a Doctor 

It is extremely important to consult a doctor after an injury, not only to get a thorough check-up and get the medical treatment needed but to also have a medical report ready, stating the physical impact of the accident and the severity of the injuries sustained.

This document will be needed when claiming for compensation and is used as proof that the injuries in question actually occurred due to the accident at work. That’s why it is important to be timely and consult a doctor as soon as possible to ensure your rights 

Understanding Your Rights

What you’re eligible for and the rights you’re entitled to depend on not only the nature of the job, but also the worker’s compensation laws of the state you’re working in. However, there are a few rights that are most common amongst different states, and it is crucial that you become familiar with them: 

  • You are entitled to filing a claim for your injury. 
  • You are entitled to get medically checked and treated. 
  • You have the right to get back to your job once you’re given the green light from your doctors. 
  • You have the right to compensation if your injury prevents you from working, whether temporarily or permanently. 
  • You have the right to appeal the court decision as well as the compensation provided by your employer or the insurance company. 
  • You also have the right to be legally represented by a lawyer and have the company or the insurance company cover your legal fees. 

These are the most common general rights that each employee has; however, you could find that you are eligible for even further rights, depending on the type of work you do, the type of accident, the state you’re in, as well as the severity of your injuries. 

What Are Your Rights If Your Accident On-Site Was Caused by a Third Party? 

There are times when you could find yourself facing an accident at work due to a third party. This could be a mistake due to a designer, manufacturer, or even a construction worker who made a mistake leading to your accident.

Other accidents can include a delivery truck driver or equipment being used at work that had a defect leading to accidents based on a third party’s negligence. In this case, while your company is not held accountable, you still have certain rights and can go about claiming compensation through a different channel. 

Instead of filing a claim under the workers’ compensation coverage policy, you should be filing a civil lawsuit in a state or federal court. This allows you to file a claim against the third party held accountable for your injuries and is known as a third-party claim as well as personal injury damages.

Based on this type of claim, instead of being compensated for just your lost wages and medical bills, you will also be compensated for all the pain and suffering you’ve been through.

Personal injury damages allow you to hold the person in question accountable, instead of having the blame fall on your company. However, it is important to stick to the procedure and timeframe, and it is sometimes even advisable to hire a personal injury lawyer to help you deal with the paperwork and documentation as well as help you understand what your rights are, based on the factors affecting your case. 

Undergoing an accident at work already entails a whole lot of pain and suffering and can have a significant impact on your life, turning it upside down. While sometimes the amount of compensation you receive will never be enough to cover the emotional, physical, and psychological damages that have occurred, at least it will cover your expenses and allow you to get back up on your feet without having to worry about finances.

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