Workers’ compensation is a no-fault benefits system. It protects employers from certain negligence claims that contribute to workplace injuries or illnesses. This no-fault system was designed for the protection of workers’ as well as employers. It protects employers from lawsuits, and helps ensure that employees receive the medical care and time off they need.
There is help available to you if you sustained a workplace injury or have suffered work-related illness in the course of your employment. You are entitled to and are encouraged to seek competent legal representation if you have been injured or suffered illness in the course of doing your job.
In most circumstances, employee negligence will not prevent you from collecting workers’ compensation benefits. Even if you think your own negligence led to you becoming injured on the job, don’t assume that you are ineligible. Attorneys at law firms like Oxner + Permar, LLC will remind you that a good workers’ compensation lawyer will always review your case for free and let you know if you are entitled to collect, regardless of how the accident occurred.
Recovering Workers’ Compensation Benefits
“Recovery” refers to the amount of money awarded for medical care that you need following an injury. Because workers’ comp is a no-fault system, the amount you can recover is limited. Punitive damages are not part of a workers’ compensation claim. Your benefits can, however, be substantial and vary based on a number of legal criteria that only a seasoned workers’ compensation attorney can properly navigate.
Who Isn’t Covered
Volunteers, independent contractors, and other non-permanent employees are not covered under workers’ comp law. If you are not covered by workers’ comp, you may need to seek remedy by way of a personal injury lawsuit. An expert legal staff can also assist in this process should you be found ineligible to collect.
If you believe you were intentionally injured as a result of assault or abuse by a co-worker or superior, you still need to file a claim for workers’ compensation. This is true even in cases of gross negligence (where the employer is aware of dangerous working conditions) and where there is provable intent to harm. Further civil or criminal charges may be brought against a workplace where physical abuse of an employee occurs. In cases like this, you may have a case against both the company and the individual who harmed you.