Workers’ compensation insurance is a state-mandated program that makes sure that employees receive compensation for any injuries they sustain at work. The system also protects employers from employees who later try to seek additional compensation in court.
How workers’ compensation insurance works
If you are injured at work you should be able to receive compensation regardless of whose fault the injury is. The injury can be caused by the employee, the employer, a coworker, a third party, or a customer – any injury or illness you sustain should be compensated.
This sounds exceedingly simple, right? If everything goes smoothly, workers’ compensation is pretty simple. You are injured on the job, you file a workers’ compensation insurance claim, receive the medical treatment you need, and then return to work. Easy! Unfortunately, not every claim goes this easily or quickly. Injured employees can run into a lot of issues when trying to get adequate compensation for their workplace injuries.
Complications with a claim
Employers can dispute the severity of the injury or in some cases can dispute the circumstances surrounding the injury, blame your current condition on a previous injury or preexisting condition, or even deny the claim for some other reason. Sometimes employers will even retaliate against an injured worker who files for workers’ compensation by firing or demoting them, though this is illegal.
Find out more about the way that your state regulates and handles workers’ compensation by visiting your official state workers’ comp site. The U.S. Department of Labor has a website with links to state workers’ comp pages. If you believe that you have been illegally retaliated against or if you are running into issues with a workers’ comp claim and would like help achieving a resolution, contact an experienced workers’ compensation attorney right away.
What if an employer retaliates?
Many injuries go unreported because employees are worried that there will be retaliation. Many have fears that they will be punished, demoted, or fired for filing for workers’ compensation. It is not legal for an employer to retaliate, but sometimes it does happen. These cases can become very complicated. If your employer retaliates against you, you can sue them and probably win. All states protect workers against employer retaliation.
However, workers who are receiving workers’ comp can still be fired. You can still be laid off while you are recovering from an injury or receiving workers’ compensation. You cannot be laid off because you are on workers’ comp leave but you can be laid off for poor performance or for a reason that is unrelated to your injury or workers’ comp claim. This can be a gray area where you might feel as if you have been retaliated against, but an employer gives an entirely different reason.
Contact the Law Office of James M. Hoffmann
If you believe that you have been laid off as retaliation or because of a workers’ comp claim you should immediately contact an experienced Missouri workers’ compensation attorney who can evaluate your case. You have rights and you deserve to have them protected.
Contact the Law office of James M. Hoffmann at (888) 872-6795 to schedule a free consultation.
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photo credit: Rubber Dragon