When you’re making workers’ compensation claims, it’s important to be careful of where you get your advice from. With the help of trusted lawyers, you can make sure that you’re hearing the information most beneficial to your chances of a successful claim. However, there is a lot of misinformation out there, some of it is spread quite innocently by those who don’t know better, and some that’s designed to discourage you from making a claim when you should.
Here, we’re going to look at what you need to know about workers’ compensation claims; in particular, the myths that need to be debunked.
9 Workers’ Compensation Claims Myths:
Myth #1: If You’re at Fault, You Can’t Make a Claim
There’s a difference between suing an employer for negligence that led to an accident or injury and making a workers’ compensation claim. Workers’ compensation does not require anyone to be found responsible, it’s a no-fault system. As such, you will be entitled to the same benefits regardless of who is at fault. The purpose of workers’ compensation is to provide access to medical and financial support without the need for litigation.
Myth #2: It’s Only for Catastrophic Accidents
Workers comp might often be associated with the more dramatic types of workplace accidents that result in open wounds, broken bones, and the like. However, it can actually cover all kinds of workplace injuries and illnesses,including minor sprains and strains, as long as they result from a sudden identifiable accident.
Myth #3: It’s Only for Big Companies
You don’t have to work for a big company to be entitled to the benefits of workers’ compensation insurance. In Virginia, any business with over three employees should be covered. Some industries that have a higher rate of accident, injury, and illness, such as construction, need to have workers’ compensation insurance no matter how many employees they have. As such, even if you work in a smaller company, you’re likely to be entitled to your workers’ comp claim.
Myth #4: Only Full-Time Employees Get Workers’ Compensation
This is not true, in most cases. The law in most states declares that all companies that purchase workers’ compensation coverage have to cover all of their employees. This includes full-time, part-time, temporary, and seasonal workers.
Myth #5: It Only Covers Injuries That Happened On-Site
Workers’ compensation is designed to provide medical and financial assistance to anyone who experiences a workplace-related injury or illness. It doesn’t mean that you have to be on the job site when the injury happened to make a claim. So long as you were doing a job-related activity or the injury was caused by a job-related injury, you can make a claim. For instance, if you are in a car accident traveling between job sites, or to home in a work vehicle, then you have a viable workers comp claim.
Myth #6: You’re at Risk of Being Fired or Punished for Filing a Worker’s Compensation Claim
While you might certainly imagine that employers might like to prevent claims by retaliating against employees who make them, it is illegal for them to do this. Retaliation and wrongful termination in relation to work-related injuries can happen, but this typically only results in allowing the claimant to make further legal claims against their employer.
Myth #7: It Only Covers Medical Expenses
The main purpose of workers’ compensation claims is, as stated, to help provide financial and medical assistance. Typically, the bulk of support will be aimed at emergency medical care or orthopedic and surgical care. That said, it also covers lost wages, as well as additional costs such as therapy, mileage and paying for medications.
Myth #8: You Can’t Take Other Legal Action While Making a Worker’s Comp Claim
There’s nothing to say you can’t pursue other legal remedies while making a worker’s comp claim. Other legal action can be taken to address other damages, such as negligence of a third-party who caused your accident.
Myth #9: You Can Make a Workers’ Compensation Claim Without the Help of a Lawyer
Not every claim necessarily needs legal representation, but the claimant’s chances of success rise drastically with the help of a qualified lawyer. Having someone with you to navigate the complex laws of the subject can be a great aid.
Get Started on the Right Foot With a Workers’ Compensation Lawyer in Richmond, VA
If you want to ensure the best chance of successful workers’ compensation claims, then working with an experienced workers’ compensation lawyer who knows the field can make all the difference. Get in touch with Renfro & Renfro and we will be glad to offer what advice and representation we can.