Workers’ Comp: What Don’t You Know?
September 26, 2021
Forty-nine out of 50 states require employers to purchase workers’ compensation insurance to protect workers (and their own finances, too) in case a workplace accident results in illness or injury. When it comes to filing a workers’ compensation claim, however, there is no shortage of myths and misconceptions floating around. Because the misinformation that surrounds workers’ compensation plays such a large role in preventing injured workers from accessing medical benefits and wage replacement that they are entitled to, we are going to take a look at some of the biggest misconceptions below.
You Can Only Get Workers’ Compensation if You Are Injured on the Job-Site
Typically, workers who sustain injuries on their job-sites account for the majority of workers’ compensation claims, but that does not mean that injuries that happen outside of a worker’s primary job-site renders them ineligible to receive benefits. For example, workers who sustain injuries in motor vehicle accidents while they are driving from one job to another can file for benefits. Similarly, a worker can file a workers’ compensation claim if they get hurt while performing something outside of their regular job duties, like while walking to the restroom or by tripping down a flight of stairs. It is important to know, however, that in most cases a worker must be on the clock and not on an official break in order to be eligible for workers’ comp benefits.
Workers’ Comp Claims Hurt Your Employer
Workers’ compensation was designed to protect both the injured worker and the employer, so there is no need to feel guilty when you file a claim against your employer for the work-related injuries you sustained. Having workers’ compensation insurance is an asset for employers because it prevents them from being responsible for paying entirely out of pocket for the costs associated with a worker’s injury. Workers’ comp is also a lifeline for injured workers because it allows them to access replacement wages and medical benefits. Generally speaking, workers who file workers’ compensation claims against their employers cannot sue them and/or their coworkers for negligence in causing the injury, though there are exceptions to this rule. Whenever you sustain injuries in a workplace-related incident, it is advisable to speak with an experienced attorney who can guide you through your claims process.
You Have to Work Full-Time to Apply for Workers’ Compensation
This is false. Temporary or part-time workers actually face even higher risks for sustaining job-related injuries than their full-time counterparts. Workers do not need to be full-time employees in order to receive workers’ compensation benefits; they simply need to be on their employer’s payroll. This means that most seasonal, freelance, and part-time employees are indeed eligible for workers’ compensation benefits.
Someone Else Must be to Blame for the Injury
One of the main differences between a workers’ compensation and personal injury claim is that workers’ compensation claims are valid for anyone injured at work, whereas personal injury claims tend to rely more heavily on who or what party was responsible for the plaintiff’s injury. Only in certain cases is a worker who got injured on the job ineligible for benefits, like if the person was under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol at the time of the incident.
A worker who sustains an injury that is not a result of his or her employer’s negligence, like slipping on a floor that is not wet or kept in an unsafe condition, can still lodge a workers’ compensation claim. Even if the employer was not negligent, if the employee sustained injuries at work he or she can still access wage replacement and medical benefits by filing a workers’ compensation claim.
Your Employer Can Fire You for Filing a Claim
Every worker has the right to file a workers’ compensation claim, and it is illegal for an employer to retaliate against an injured employee for filing one. If an employer threatens to revoke your benefits or takes other retaliatory action against you for filing a claim, contact an attorney who can help.
Need Help Filing a Workers’ Compensation Claim?
Although every employer should have a comprehensive understanding of how workers’ compensation works, the reality is that far too many fail to value the health and safety of their employees. If you sustained a work-related injury or have questions about filing a workers’ compensation claim, someone at our firm can help. To learn more, contact a representative online now.
Philadelphia Workers’ Compensation Lawyers at Galfand Berger, LLP Representing Injured Victims Since 1947
Galfand Berger LLP has offices located in Philadelphia, Bethlehem, Reading and Lancaster, we serve clients throughout Pennsylvania and New Jersey. To schedule a consultation, call us at 800-222-8792 or complete our online contact form.