How To Find Out If You’re Entitled To Workers’ Compensation

Employee compensation occurs when employers are legally obligated to cover their workers’ injuries or losses. It is also considered a type of insurance that covers financial expenses including medical expenses, lost wages, sick pay, and therapy. A lot of people don’t know how workers’ compensation works and when they have the right to file for compensation. In this article, we’ll be explaining the factors that make you entitled to workers’ compensation.

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Workers Must Be Considered As Part Of The Workforce Or Staff

To be eligible for compensation, you have to be an employee. Not all workers are classified as employees. When a company outsources some of its functions or hires independent contractors like consultants and freelancers, they aren’t identified as employees and thus they can’t benefit from employee compensation. Many employers prefer hiring independent contractors, and have a higher ratio of independent workers to employees, in order to avoid workers’ compensation as well as income and payroll taxes. Unlike employees, independent contractors don’t use the employers’ tools and aren’t controlled by them.

Work-related Injuries

Thousands of workplace accidents are reported every year. In fact, they are much more common than you’d think. As obvious as it seems, to be entitled to workers’ compensation, the accident needs to be job-related or has to have happened at the workplace. On-the-job accidents can result in serious injuries and illnesses, which should be covered by the employer. Examples of job-related accidents and overexertion while performing normal work functions include:

  • Strenuous physical effort when carrying out repetitive work 
  • Pushing, carrying, and lifting heavy objects that result in strain injuries
  • Slipping, tripping, or falling from structures or ladders, causing injuries and broken bones ( common among construction workers)
  • Cuts and lacerations when dealing with equipment
  • Transportation accidents (common for agricultural workers who constantly move from one work site to another)

Some of the most dangerous jobs include logging workers, roofers, aircraft engineers, construction workers, and power linemen. Any job that demands exposure to harmful and hazardous substances, or using heavy equipment exposes workers to a high risk of injuries and illnesses. Your employer is responsible for your health and safety while at work, especially if the work conditions are harsh, thus you have the right to workers’ compensation in case of an accident.

Medical Proof

It is of utmost importance to seek medical attention immediately after a work-related accident as it can be in your favor. Your medical history serves as medical evidence and can accelerate the acceptance of your compensation claim. Without medical proof, the compensation process can be more difficult. The insurance company may claim that your injuries are not the result of a workplace accident but rather an accident outside work perimeters. If you live in West Australia, Perth compensation lawyers state that seeking professional help from worker compensation attorneys can help you get the most out of your medical documents. Personal injury medical examinations are a legal assessment that’s often required by insurance companies and lawyers. These assessments are not carried out by your doctor or GPs, but rather by a medical-legal doctor known as accident injury doctors (AMS). These medical examinations measure the extent of impairments and losses caused at work to determine the employer’s liability and the worth of your claim. This assessment can also:

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  • Prove your eligibility for the claim
  • Determine the worth of the compensation claim
  • Decide your compensation payout amount, in addition to further treatment expenses if needed

Timeframe

The timeframe for reporting a personal injury and filing a compensation claim is a critical factor that affects your eligibility for compensation. Generally, the sooner you report an accident and file a claim the better. Your employer needs to learn of the incident as soon as possible. Some states have specific deadlines for reporting the accident. For instance,  some states have a deadline of only 3 days, while others give you two years to report an accident. Make sure to keep a record of the time and location of the accident, and take pictures of your injuries as well, to back you up when you’re reporting.

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When you start to work for a company, your employer is obliged to stick to certain responsibilities. It’s important for you to be aware of what your rights are within this workplace and under the law in general.  There are a plethora of aspects that help you determine whether or not you’re entitled to employee compensation. By considering the factors we’ve mentioned above, and seeking proper help, you will be able to know and understand your rights and take the right steps to progress your claim and have the settlement accepted. 

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