Employers are expected to offer a reasonably safe and healthy work environment to their employees in every state. Employers occasionally breach this obligation, resulting in employee injury. Sometimes, though, even when every effort has been taken to create a safe workplace, individuals might sustain injuries on the job.
These injuries can range from shattered bones to exacerbations of pre-existing ailments, occupational illnesses, and even psychological trauma. Each state consists of a system in place to assist employees who have sustained work-related injuries.
How Can I Protect My Rights If I Am Injured on the Job?
The most critical and straightforward approach to safeguard your legal rights is to notify your employer about your injury. The majority of states require you to report your injuries within a specific time frame, generally the day of the injury or within a few days of the occurrence. While this may not always be possible depending on the incident’s circumstances, it is critical to disclose the injury as soon as possible.
Another step is to submit a claim with your state’s workers’ compensation or industrial court to defend your rights. Once again, this serves as formal notification of your injuries to your employer, the court, and your employer’s insurance provider.
Various automated safeguards are implemented when you make a claim, which we will discuss in the next section.
The Following Are Your Rights Following a Workplace Injury:
State rules governing workers’ compensation differ significantly. Additionally, the rights provided to an injured employee vary considerably, as do the legal procedures used to enforce those rights.
However, a handful of legal rights are universally recognized in the majority of states:
- You have the right to submit a worker’s compensation or state industrial court claim for your accident or sickness.
- You have the right to seek medical treatment and consult a physician.
- If your physician certifies that you are fit to return to work, you have the legal right to do so.
- If you are not able to work because of an illness or disease, whether permanent or temporary, you are eligible to receive some sort of disability compensation.
- If you are dissatisfied with a decision made by your employer, the employer’s insurance company, or the workers’ compensation court, you typically have the right to appeal.
- Throughout the proceedings, you have the right to be represented by an attorney.
It is equally critical to understand your rights to act and your right to decline specific requests or offers as an employee. For instance, if you are wounded and your employer suggests using your health insurance to pay for your medical care, you have the right to refuse. And it is prohibited for your boss to provide you an inducement to convince you not to file a workers compensation claim. You have the right to decline an offer.
The injured employee has the last say on whether or not to pursue a claim. If the injuries are mild, will not result in long-term issues, and the employee can continue working and avoid losing pay due to the accident, they may likely elect not to pursue a compensation claim. However, when injuries are severe and result in an incapacity to work, filing a compensation claim is the only choice, and in most cases, a right for most individuals.
Have you been injured at your workplace? Do you need guidance on whether to file a claim or not? Workers Compensation attorney Pittsburgh can help you. Contact us for a free consultation.