If you're injured on the job, you may think that using workers' compensation is as simple as making a claim and getting paid for your injury. However, it's not always as straightforward as it seems. Here are some questions you are likely to have about workers' compensation.
Can Anyone Apply For Workers' Compensation?
Do not assume that your workplace injury automatically qualifies you for workers' compensation. That is because the employer and employee status can have an impact on who actually qualifies. If you are currently working as an independent contractor, you would not be able to use an employer's workers' compensation insurance for an injury that you sustained.
In addition, there are different laws at the state level that state how big a company has to be until they are required to have workers' compensation insurance. This means that if you are the employee of a small company with one other person, the company may be small enough where they don't need to have workers' compensation insurance.
How Can You Tell If An Employer Has Workers Compensation Insurance?
You do not have to take an employer's word about if they have workers' compensation insurance. You can actually look it up with the workers' compensation board by providing the employer's name and their tax ID. This will let you know if the employer is being truthful about having workers' compensation or not.
When Should An Injury Be Reported?
While all injuries should be reported as soon as possible, know that this does not always happen. Each state has its own laws regarding how soon after an injury that it must be reported, which may be as little as 30 days. It's also possible to provide constructive notice of the injury, which is when the injury is clearly known in the workplace by other people that it happened. For example, if you suffered a slip and fall in front of your boss, then that may qualify as constructive notice and not require a formal notification. This can be helpful if you miss a deadline.
Things get complicated when an injury is not apparent until well after the deadline. That's why it's always important to report the incident and get immediate medical treatment to back up your claim about what happened. If the injury doesn't heal itself and actually gets worse after the deadline to report has passed, then you have the evidence you need to file a workers' compensation claim. To learn more, contact a workers' compensation lawyer.Share