What is the Law for Workers’ Compensation?

Workers’ compensation laws are determined by the state, and therefore they differ depending on where an employer is located. There are still certain things that apply in most places.

Workers’ compensation insurance policies must be held by most employers

Most states require employers to hold workers’ compensation insurance policies. There are exceptions to this though. Most states have policies that exclude extremely small employers from having to hold workers’ compensation insurance. Also, certain industries, such as agriculture might be excluded from the need to hold workers’ compensation insurance. Federal employees, other government employees and law enforcement officials will likely be covered by separate programs.

Workers’ compensation protects employers from lawsuits

The protection of workers’ compensation insurance is given in exchange for the employer being protected from lawsuits filed by employees. If an employee is injured at work, even in negligence cases, the claim is meant to be handled through workers’ compensation insurance, and not in a court of law. The employee might have the opportunity to sue in court once they have exhausted their appeals through the workers’ compensation system, but almost all cases are to be handled through the system. There are cases where an employer could sue an employer in court in the case of something like an intentional tort.

Employees do not have to show that the employer is at fault in order to be covered

The trade-off that is made between employees and employers with workers’ compensation, is that employees need not to have been injured by the fault of an employer in order to be covered by workers’ compensation. Instead, they can even have been injured as the result of their own careless act, and still qualify for coverage.

You still have to prove your claim

Even though workers’ compensation cases do not get litigated in a court of law, the employee still must prove that they were injured or suffered an illness, and that it was related to their employment duties. Sometimes this is fairly easy to prove, but other times it can be rather difficult. In the case of accidents, the causing incident and resulting injury might be clear. But in cumulative injuries, and in illnesses, there is often some question as to the connection between the employee’s job and the injury. Insurer’s will often claim that the there was a preexisting condition, or that the injury was not caused by work related activity.

States set limits for the time in which an individual can file a claim

State workers’ compensation laws will determine how much time a person has to report their injury to their place of work and how long they have to file a claim, or to appeal a claim that was denied. Failure to meet these requirements can cause an employee’s case to fail.

Insurers can request an individual see a doctor in order to assess their ailment

The insurance providers often have the right to require that the employee see a doctor of the insurer’s choice in order to have the employee evaluated and to determine if he or she suffered the claimed injury, and that it does indeed appear to be work related.

You have the right to hire an attorney

You may hire a workers’ compensation attorney to help you with the workers’ compensation claims and appeals process. Your attorney can help you to navigate the system, and to make sure that you have everything you need to support your claim, and are prepared for testifying at a hearing if that is part of your appeal.

Your attorney’s fees are likely capped

Most workers’ compensation attorney’s work on contingency based fees, meaning they will only be paid if your claim is successful, and that they will receive a percent of your settlement as their payment. Your state likely determines the percentage that workers’ compensation attorneys are permitted to charge their clients.

Contact Stern Law, PLLC for A Free Consultation

At Stern Law, PLLC, we have compassionate and caring attorneys ready to work with you in order to find the best strategy for seeking compensation for your job related injuries. Contact Stern Law, PLLC today at (844) 808-7529 for a free consolation with an experienced attorney.

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