Workers’ compensation benefits can be confusing. Laws vary from state to state, so in addition to learning company policy, you should also learn about your rights and the workers’ comp system in your state.
Workers’ compensation benefits should cover your medical bills relating to diagnosis of your injury and the prescribed treatment. It will also cover lost wages during your recovery process, and in some cases could cover the cost of rehabilitation and any retraining that could be necessary if you are unable to return to your job.
Most states require that employers who have a certain number of employees have workers’ compensation insurance. If your employer has workers’ compensation insurance and you experience a work-related injury, you are entitled to medical treatment and workers’ comp benefits that will help support you and your family during the recovery period.
Your injury or illness must be work related, but it does not necessarily have to arise out of an accident. If you develop an illness because of an exposure to toxic chemicals, or develop a repetitive stress injury, these could be covered under workers’ compensation.
Not every worker is covered under workers’ compensation, however. So it is important to know whether or not you are covered. Some workers who are usually not covered under workers’ comp include volunteers, independent contractors, domestic workers, agricultural and farm workers, undocumented workers, seasonal workers, and leased or loaned workers.
It is crucial that you reference the laws in your particular state to determine whether or not you are covered. Some states include undocumented workers in their workers’ comp laws, while others exclude them and some do not address this issue at all. This is true for several other categories of workers. If you work for a temp agency and are loaned to a business for short term work, you may or may not be covered. The same is true for some farm workers and seasonal workers. In states where law does not reference these types of employees and specifically designate coverage, it has been left up to the courts to decide whether an employee would be covered.
Some employers may try to get out of covering employees under workers’ comp by misclassifying workers as independent contractors when they are not. This is fraudulent and is not permitted. You should contact a workers’ compensation attorney and report the fraud to the state.
Missouri Workers’ Compensation Attorney
If you have any questions about how the law applies to your case or if your claim is denied and you believe that it is illegal or unfair, you should contact a workers’ compensation attorney. Because workers’ compensation attorneys have a strong understanding of the changing workers’ comp laws in your particular area, they can answer your questions and give you a better understanding of how these laws apply to your particular situation and what benefits you are entitled to.
Each state has a different workers’ compensation system, and it can be difficult to determine if injuries in certain situations are covered. In addition to already existing gray areas, many states are currently in the process of changing and reforming workers’ comp systems, which can make it even more confusing. If you have questions, do not hesitate to call a workers’ comp attorney and ask. It could make a big difference in the amount of benefits you receive.
The Law Office of James M. Hoffmann has the experience necessary to help injured Missouri workers get the compensation they are entitled to. Schedule your free consultation today.