According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, during 2014 alone, roughly three million U.S. workers reported suffering employment-related injuries or illnesses. During this same year, a total of 4,679 workers suffered fatal injuries on the job. These staggering figures raise many troubling and difficult questions with regard to the health and safety of our nation’s workplaces and also when it comes to providing a financial safety net for injured workers and their families.
Fortunately, worker’s compensation laws exist and serve to protect the financial interests of workers who are injured while performed work-related duties. Employers are required to pay worker’s compensation insurance and to submit claims for workers who report suffering job-related injuries. Unfortunately, the process of obtaining worker’s compensation benefits can be complex and a claim may be denied or benefits cut short for a number of reasons.
Injured workers are often advised, therefore, to consult with an attorney who handles worker’s compensation matters. An attorney can assist with compiling the necessary documentation and evidence to file a claim as well as deal with insurance companies and advocate on one’s behalf. Additionally, in the event that an individual’s claim for benefits is denied, an attorney can assist in appealing a claims denial.
When it comes to work injuries, time is of the essence and workers who suffer injuries while performing job-related duties are advised to report injuries to an employer as soon as possible and to obtain a full medical examination. In cases where a worker believes that a third-party may be negligent in causing or contributing to his or her injuries, it’s wise to consult with an attorney prior to filing a worker’s compensation claim as it may be more appropriate and advantageous to take legal action.
Source: FindLaw.com, “Worker’s compensation basics,” March 23, 2016