The name seems simple. ‘Workers’ compensation’ relates to compensation given to workers. It’s the mechanics, how workers’ compensation works, that can trip people up. If you are confused about how this important benefit works, this article should help answer some of your questions.
Workers’ Comp Basics
Let’s look at the fundamentals first. Workers’ comp benefits are provided to workers injured at work. Benefits include payments for lost wages and medical expenses. Sometimes vocational rehabilitation and retraining benefits are available. Where it can get complicated is when employer and employee disagree about the injuries. Also, injured people sometimes want to choose their own doctors, but it’s not always possible.
The Triggering Event
The injury must be work-related. However, the triggering event could be an accident, like a scaffolding falling on someone. Injuries can also be caused by repetitive movements or exposure to toxic substances. Workers’ compensation covers the great majority of people who get hurt while engaged in work-related activities.
What Happens Next?
The employee must inform the employer after an accident happens. State laws vary on deadlines, so it’s best to let your boss know immediately. Waiting could cause you to lose your benefits. In some states, the employer should report the workers’ comp claim to the appropriate state agency.
Occupational diseases are different, however. Your diagnosis might not happen for years after your exposure. Contact a workers’ comp lawyer if you feel you have an occupational disease, as state laws vary.
A Fork in the Road
A worker has been injured, the employer (and its insurance carrier) has been notified – now what? In some cases, there little to no disagreement. The insurer begins paying for medical bills and lost wages, and the worker tries to get better.
Unfortunately, sometimes the worker and the insurer disagree on the extent or cause of the injury. They might also argue the amount of compensation the worker should receive.
At this point, workers should contact an attorney. It might be time to file a claim.
State Workers’ Compensation Agencies
Each state has its own workers’ compensation program:
Illinois: Workers’ Compensation Commission
Michigan: Workers’ Disability Compensation Agency
When you have questions about your case, contact a lawyer as soon as possible.
Call to Discuss Your Workers’ Compensation Claim
An experienced workers’ compensation attorney can help get you started. However, it’s even more important to have legal representation if you have to appeal a denial of your claim.
At the Dailey Law Firm, P.C., our team of skilled lawyers and professionals provide the high-quality legal services you need. Call us at 844-342-5353 to set up a free consultation or use the Contact Form on our website. There’s no fee for personal injury cases unless we win.
We represent clients throughout the entire United States. You can reach us online or visit one of our offices in Detroit, MI; Chicago, IL; or Valparaiso, IN.