It’s not uncommon for many companies to allow their employees to work in dangerous environments. Although the employer is responsible for hazards, they also rely on workers to use common sense to keep themselves safe.
With this being said, the workers compensation is provided to employees who have been injured at work to compensate them for lost wages and medical bills. Typically, this type of insurance is offered for an employee who has been injured on the job due to an injury that occurred during work, like a work related injury, but it is not limited to that. It can be used in other situations, such as when the employee is injured from driving a vehicle.
What Does Workers Compensation Insurance Cover?
Workers comp insurance covers a number of benefits. Medical expenses including hospital visits, medications and emergency surgeries are all covered by workers compensation.
- Lost wages. Salaries are partially covered when the employee needs time away from work to recover from a work-related illness or injury.
- Disability benefits. If you are injured on the job, disability benefits may be available, depending on the injury’s severity. Ongoing care costs such as physical therapy are covered by workers compensation. Many people who apply for disability benefits are initially rejected. If you’ve been denied disability benefits, don’t despair. Insurers like Aflac cover for accident insurance and short-term disability insurance too, so if you’re covered, you may be entitled to financial support.
- Death benefits. Funeral costs and survivor benefits are typically included for the worker’s family.
In order to recover for pain and suffering however, you will have to pursue a personal injury suit rather than a workers’ compensation claim. You can get some great information on that on FreeAdvice.com.
Below are the basic steps involved in workers compensation claims:
- Step 1: Identify if an injury has been caused by your own fault or the fault of the person who hit you. If it is your fault, you should first go to the hospital and get a written statement that admits to causing the injury. If your case is accepted, you can then hire a lawyer to pursue the best possible settlement.
- Step 2: In order to pursue a worker’s compensation claim, you will need to submit proof of your injury and the date of injury. You can also use a photo or a video, and anything else that documents the injury.
- Step 3: The employer should then notify the insurance provider and the state workers compensation, if necessary. If an employee is severely injured, they will need to report the incident to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration.
However, claims can be disputed by the employer if they do not believe the injury was work-related. Employees making a claim may need to make their case before a workers compensation board to receive workers compensation benefits.
What Happens If You Refuse An Offer?
Workers Compensation Insurance is an offer that is being made by a compensation carrier for the purposes of workers compensation. It is accepted without much hassle, but there is a condition that goes along with this.
An injured worker has to accept an offer before they can even begin the process of recovery. If the injured worker refuses the offer, then they have to accept a second one before any additional compensation can be awarded to the injured worker. The second offer can be any amount, but is usually much lower than the first offer.
This is something to be wary of. If an injured employee doesn’t get enough compensation in the first instance, then they could be left with a lot of medical bills, and not much else to live on.
Should I Accept or Pursue a Settlement?
Do you want a one-time payment or a settlement that will pay you long term? The decision is up to you. Workers compensation is a system set up to provide financial benefits to employees who are hurt on the job. The system is not mandatory, and the decision to accept or decline compensation is completely voluntary.
When considering the value of your financial recovery versus the peace of mind that comes with concluding your claim, it can be hard to balance at times. On the one hand, accepting an offer and avoiding further harassment and stress can seem worth it. On the other hand, future expenses related to your injury may cause just as much stress. To make an informed decision, consider the following:
- The scope. If you’re out of work short-term, then settling your case may allow you to tie up any loose ends and receive your money more quickly. If you’re facing permanent disability, settling your case may give you the opportunity to focus on new treatments and training so that you can move on to a different job with reasonable limitations.
- The prognosis. If you’re in good health and your injury will heal well, you may not have much to worry about in terms of taking a one-time settlement. If things are uncertain for the future, however, or if your condition might get worse, it’s usually better to go with a long-term payout or the possibility of renegotiating.
Sometimes it may be difficult to accept an insurance company’s settlement offer because the compensation will be a significant amount of money. This amount may be harder to earn than what the injured worker originally set out to earn. Some insurance companies will do their best to ensure that they will not be able to reject the claim.
If an insurance company refuses the claim, the injured worker will probably not pursue the claim as a second option. Instead, the injured worker might accept an offer from a workers compensation attorney in order to get a better compensation or a higher settlement. If the claim is rejected by the insurer, then the claimant has to fight for a higher sum. Many injured workers have their careers damaged because they don’t pursue their claim.
It’s important to consider both the financial and emotional cost to the family of the injured employee. In addition, you should think of the stress it would put on you personally to wait for a settlement that could take years, and while that settlement is pending.
Consider The Future of Your Family
It’s likely that the worker would get more financial compensation if they agreed to a settlement sooner. But in the end, the most important factor to consider is the future of the family.