If I Have Been Hurt at Work, What Are My Rights?
May 23, 2017
As a worker, you have rights if you are injured on the job, and should be exercising them. Some injuries you can walk off, but if that injury leaves you limping along and stuck with a pile of medical bills, you are entitled to financial help for them. If you are injured at your job that prevents you from working for a period of time, you have the right to file a worker’s compensation claim, but you need to make sure that it is followed through to the fullest extent of your rights as a worker.
What Are My Rights?
While rights vary from state to state, but your rights as a worker overall are pretty clear cut. In this state, you have the concrete right to pursue compensation for lost wages, medical expenses, and any disability you have to endure, all of which are protected by your state’s Worker Compensation Laws.
- You have the right to file a claim for your injury or work-related illness in Worker’s Compensation Court.
- If you are injured, you have the right to see a doctor and pursue medical treatment.
- If your physician says that you can return to your job, your employer has to respect your right to return to the job.
- If you are unable to work due to your injury, be it temporarily or even permanently, you have the right to some degree of disability compensation.
- One of the more important rights that a worker has is to be able to refuse inappropriate employee requests such as using your own health insurance rather than the employer’s for medical treatment, not filing a worker’s compensation claim, or fearing any harassment from your employer. If you are hurt at work, you have a right for compensation, and any harassment that makes you fear for the safety of your job or even your personal safety is illegal.
- If you disagree with the decision of your employer, the insurance company of your employer, or the Worker’s Compensation Court, you have the right to an appeal.
- Most importantly, throughout this whole process, you have the right to be represented by a lawyer to ensure that your rights are upheld to the fullest degree.
What If I Am Hurt at Work by Someone Unaffiliated with the Company?
This is a rare case, but it can happen. If you are at work and you have an injury that is the complete fault of a third party that is not affiliated with your company, can you still get worker’s compensation? The unfortunate answer is that your employer will only have to give worker’s compensation if your injury happened during your job. However, the good news is that if your injury was the fault of negligence on the part of a third party, you can seek compensation in a personal injury case.
While personal injury cases require more legal proceedings typically, you can get damages for things like pain and suffering, something that is not covered by worker’s compensation. However, it may take longer to get the money that you need to cover your medical expenses.
If you or someone you know was hurt at work and you don’t think that their rights are being upheld by their employer in a worker’s compensation claim, contact us today. There are a lot of ways that employers can cut corners to leave you stuck with the bulk of your medical bills, but that is something that the state tries to prevent with injured employee rights. At Dreaden & Cox Attorneys At Law, we respect the rights of the injured worker and fight hard to make sure that they get every penny of compensation coming to them.