Workers’ Comp law can be confusing, and matters aren’t any clearer when you’re in pain and upset due to a workplace injury. It’s better to learn about the law before you need to understand it than to try to understand it after an injury. Here are four ways that you can learn about Workers’ Comp law.
United States Department of Labor
If you’re a federal employee, the Department of Labor oversees your Workers’ Comp program. There’s information available on their site that will help you understand what to do, as well as when and how to do it. You can even find information pertaining to specific types of federal employment, such as coal mining or longshore or harbor workers.
Use a Legal Website
Look for a legal website that explains the basics. Ideally, you’ll want to look for a site specific to your state, as the laws, rules, and requirements can vary from state to state. Most states have a site, either through the state’s government or a law firm that will walk you through the basics. Look for information such as what kind of injuries are covered, what the basic process is, tips on what you should and should not do, and what happens if your claim is denied.
Speak to Your Company’s HR Department
Your company’s Human Resources department is likely in charge of Workers’ Comp. If not HR directly, there may be a Safety department that is a subset of HR that handles it. Find out who’s in charge of Workers’ Comp and ask for a meeting with that person. Sit down with them and ask for a rundown of Workers’ Comp. They should be able to, at the very least, outline eligible injuries, the injury reporting process, the claims process, how long it typically takes, and anything else important for you to know.
Schedule a Consultation with a Lawyer
There are Workers’ Comp lawyers in every state who represent employees who have had their claims denied, or whose claims aren’t being paid as they should, or any number of other problems. A lawyer who specializes in Workers’ Comp will be intimately familiar with how the law works, and everything that you might need to know. Many offer a free consultation, as well.
Workers’ Comp is there to protect employees after an injury, but it’s not necessarily easy to understand. A little time spent on some research or talking to those who work with Workers’ Comp on a regular basis can help.
Author Info: Rachelle Wilber is a freelance writer living in the San Diego, California area. She graduated from San Diego State University with her Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism and Media Studies. She tries to find an interest in all topics and themes, which prompts her writing. When she isn’t on her porch writing in the sun, you can find her shopping, at the beach, or at the gym. Follow her on Twitter and Facebook: @RachelleWilber.