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Legalities of Being Injured at Work

A workers’ compensation injury is defined as an injury or illness that occurs due to employment, and may include injury arising out of the scope of employment. The workers’ compensation system was designed to allow employees to receive help and benefits, regardless of who was at fault, if they are injured on the job. Each state has their own workers’ compensation system; consequently rules and procedures may differ from state to state.

The Compensation

Neither negligence nor fault need to be proven in order for an injured employee to collect on the claim. Generally, a workers’ compensation claim will provide for three major areas:

  • Medical Expenses, such as hospital costs and doctors visits
  • Lost wages, ranging from one-half to two-thirds of normal wages depending on state laws, temporarily while recovering or permanently, conditional on the severity of the injury
  • Job retraining, provided that the injury prohibits the employee from performing regular employee duties, thereby requiring job retraining in order to enter a new trade or business

Employer’s Liability

Since most work-related injuries are managed by the workers’ compensation system, the employee is usually prohibited from bringing a claim against their employer. After the employee informs the employer of the injury, the employer provides a claim form for the employee to complete. Upon filing, the state’s workers’ compensation system takes over with the processing of the claim.

Statute of Limitations

The claim form for the injured employee must be filed within the limitation period as instructed by the state’s workers’ compensation rules. Otherwise, a valid claim may not receive any relief, and rights to any benefits under the claim are lost. These time limitations vary from state to state.

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