A workplace injury may cause significant strife and other problems in your life. Unfortunately, the costs of treating any type of serious injury can be extremely high, and workers will often lack the financial means to pay for the medical care that they need. In these instances, workers compensation benefits can be instrumental in allowing the injured worker to afford treatment.
When Should You Notify Your Employer About Your Injury?
In order to give yourself the best chances of successfully filing for workers compensation benefits, you will want to be sure that you are reporting any workplace injuries as soon as they occur. This step is important for creating a documented paper trail that links your injuries to your job. Otherwise, it may be more difficult to draw a direct link from the injuries to the job. If you failed to notify your manager at the time of the injury, you should make it a point to notify them of this problem as soon as possible to minimize the risk to completing your claim.
Can You Sue Your Employer After Filing The Worker's Compensation Claim?
Some workers may be under the wrong impression that they will be able to file a lawsuit against their employer after they have filed for workers compensation. However, it is common for workers compensation policies to forbid individuals to file a lawsuit against their employer. While this may prevent you from taking legal action against your employer, it will not bar you from taking actions against other parties that may have been at least partially responsible for your injuries. For example, if a supplier left materials in the open and your injuries were sustained from tripping over these materials, you may be able to take legal action against the supplier without violating the terms of the worker's compensation policy.
Will You Be Forced To Return To Work Before You Have Fully Recovered?
It is common for individuals to feel a tremendous amount of pressure to return to work. However, it should be noted that injured workers have legal protections against being terminated during their recovery process. In fact, it will typically be up to the patient's doctor to determine when they should be able to return to their job. For patients that want to return to work as soon as they can, it may be possible for their doctor to authorize them for limited work duties. In this instance, the employer will be obligated to make an effort to accommodate the worker so that they can return to work without risking straining or otherwise injuring themselves more.
Contact a workers compensation attorney for further assistance.