If you have suffered an injury in the workplace or developed an illness due to your working conditions, you could be entitled to worker’s comp benefits. These benefits are a state insurance plan dedicated to taking over individuals who have been hurt at work. Any company that has employees is required to take part in this program, according to state law.
If you are wondering whether you are entitled to this, look no further. Here are the basics to understand your right to workers’ comp benefits.
Workers’ comp was first designed to provide medical care for those who have suffered an injury at work. Over time, it has developed further, and the benefits have expanded.
This program operates on a no-fault basis. If you have been hurt at work, you can receive compensation without needing to prove who was at fault. If you were under the influence when the injury occurred, this is an exception to the no-fault rule. If you deliberately caused the injury, this is also an exception.
Injuries and Illnesses
What is covered by workers’ comp can vary from state to state. Knowing the qualifying conditions of this compensation is important, especially if you’re working in Maryland and got injured. Almost any injury occurring on the job is eligible for this program, and on that account, Trollinger Law recommends seeking immediate medical attention after an injury as this can be vital to establishing your right to workers’ comp. Bear in mind it does not need to have occurred in the workplace for it to count. If you were running an errand in a public space and incurred an injury, this is still eligible.
Illnesses which you have developed due to bad working conditions are also covered. If you develop a skin rash or condition due to exposure to chemicals in your workplace, this would count. If you have a condition that slowly developed over time due to the conditions of the workplace, this is also covered.
Whatever you are seeking compensation for must be fairly serious. If you have a small cut or a bruise that can be treated and healed fairly quickly, you cannot make a claim.
Are You an Employee?
In order to qualify, you must be considered an employee. The definition of one in this context is that your duties as an employee are controlled by your employer. You must receive wages for your work, and any training you require has to be provided by your employer. If you meet these standards, you are considered an employee and are eligible for the workers’ comp.
Freelancers or independent contractors, on the other hand, will most likely fall under these standards and are unfortunately not eligible.
It is worth noting that even if you only work part-time or seasonally, as long as you meet the requirements, you are considered an employee.
Some states exclude workers who meet the employee definition, these include but are not limited to domestic workers, casual laborers, or those hired from a temp agency.
What Benefits are Available?
Workers’ comp benefits can cover any lost wages caused by the injury or illness. It can also cover any medical expenses incurred or treatment required, as well as the cost of rehab or therapy.
If the injury or illness has meant that you cannot return to your job, you may be able to receive training or tuition. If the injury or illness is long-term, disability benefits could also be available.
A file can be claimed for various reasons including a single event or repeated events that have led to harm. Once the claim has been filed, it is the employer’s responsibility to comply with any investigation into the claim.
Following the investigation, the employer must welcome back the injured part once they have healed. If the employer attempts to or does penalize the employee in any way, they may suffer civil or criminal charges.
An employer’s active participation following a claim can help an employee return to work quickly as they are able to facilitate the benefits the employee needs. The quicker the injured or ill party can receive medical care and other necessary resources, the quicker they will be able to heal and return to work.
The most important aspect of receiving workers’ comp is that you are considered an employee within the current definition. If you aren’t or you fall under the exceptions, you are not eligible for anything under this program.
Following that, the injury or illness for which you are claiming must have occurred either in the workplace or in the process of you carrying out your work duties. Even if the injury occurred in a public space, as long as it is verified that you were in this area for work-related reasons, you are eligible.