Suffering from a work-related injury is bad enough. Sometimes, though, the hurt worker is unable to take the first step in acquiring benefits because of an uncooperative employer. If you've been hurt on the job and are facing a brick wall instead of support, read on to find out what to do.
Why is the Employer Uncooperative?
Workers are fortunate to have workers' compensation insurance. The employer pays the entire premium for the worker and they are supposed to cooperate when an employee is hurt. In some cases though, the employer is afraid that their insurance premiums will rise if they file too many claims. While that might be true, it's also true that employers owe it to employees to maintain a safe workplace and do everything they can to prevent problems in the first place.
Another issue workers run into when filing claims are allegations that the injury did not occur at work. Unfortunately, many employers are unfamiliar with workers' compensation rules about coverage for accidents and illnesses. Workers' compensation is a complex type of insurance and claims are often unfairly denied a filing due to employer ignorance.
Sometimes, the employer fails to act because the employee has a medical condition caused by making repetitive motions that eventually strain muscles and joints. Here, the employer may insist that no claim can be filed because no date of injury can be named. The hurt may have carpal tunnel syndrome, for example, a degenerative disorder of the wrist and hand. If the worker has been on the job for several months, it may be impossible to name the exact date the problems began. Many workers treat the pain with over-the-counter medications, ice it down, and hope it goes away.
Take These Actions to Protect Your Rights to Benefits
A worker suffering from any of the above scenarios is entitled to workers comp benefits, despite the actions of the employer. To get your benefits, documentation is the key. Begin making detailed notes about any situation related to your condition. Add the time and date of the injury as well as who you spoke to, what was said, why the conversation took place, and any other pertinent information. The better your notes, the easier it will be to get the coverage you need.
You cannot be retaliated against for trying to or for filing a workers' comp claim. Seek legal help if you lose your job.
If you have an employer that refuses to file a workers comp claim and you suspect they are wrong, seek help from a workers' comp lawyer. Many workers' comp lawyers work on a contingency fee basis, which means you owe no legal fees unless your case is won.
For more information about what to do when an employer makes filing for workers comp difficult, talk to a workers compensation attorney in your area.