Workplace accidents happen to workers all the time for a lot of different reasons…and this is the case not only at higher-risk jobs, like construction sites, but also at workplaces in virtually every industry. When a worker suffers a minor or catastrophic injury in the workplace, he or she will likely have a variety of important questions.
Workplace accidents make victims question whether they could have avoided their injuries, who will pay for medical costs, and if they will ever get back the lost wages or earning capacity they lost in a traumatic accident. Luckily, there are resources available to help injured workers learn about their rights and responsibilities under the law.
What Do I Do After Sustaining a Workplace Injury?
If you sustain an injury at work, it’s recommended to report the accident to your employer as soon as possible after the incident. Fill out an accident report and see a doctor right away, even if you don’t feel injured. The accident may have caused an injury or aggravated an existing condition without you realizing it. If your injuries are extreme, go to the emergency room. If you are not seriously hurt, ask your employer if he or she requires you to see a certain doctor.
Your employer will file a workers’ compensation claim with his or her insurance company on your behalf, but you should follow up and request a copy of the claim. The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) encourages employers to investigate workplace incidents to find the root cause of the problem and learn how to prevent a similar incident in the future.
Will Workers’ Compensation Cover This Injury?
If you suffered an injury in the workplace, odds are workers’ compensation will cover the medical costs and/or disability benefits for your injuries. California’s workers’ compensation system is in place to help injured workers, regardless of the cause of the accident. However, workers’ compensation will only cover your injury if it occurred while you were performing a work-related activity. A pizza delivery person, for example, would receive coverage if he was in an accident while delivering an order but would not for an accident while driving to run a personal errand.
Workers’ compensation doesn’t cover certain workplace accidents that are self-inflicted or related to carelessness and/or recklessness on the workers’ part. Situations in which workers’ compensation may deny a claim include when injuries result from worker intoxication or drugs, a fight the worker started, horseplay or violation of company policies, felony-related injuries, or injuries to an independent contractor.
How Much Time Does it Take to Receive Checks From Workers’ Comp?
After the fifth day that you are unable to earn full wages, your employer has seven days to report your injury to its insurance company, not including Sundays and legal holidays. Then, the insurance company has 14 days from when it receives the report to mail you a check or send you a form explaining why it has denied you compensation. If workers’ compensation denies your claim, seek the help of a personal injury attorney to discuss your options. Workers’ compensation is not your only venue for workplace injury compensation.
Should I File for Workers’ Compensation or Pursue a Personal Injury Lawsuit?
Workers’ compensation helps an injured worker recover medical expenses, disability, and some lost wages, but the compensation ends there. A personal injury lawsuit, on the other hand, can feasibly compensate an injured employee for pain and suffering, property damage, lost capacity to earn, mental anguish, and other tangible and intangible losses. A lawsuit can also shed light on an issue with an employer or company and bring awareness to a problem before it causes further injury.
If your accident was the result of someone else’s negligence, such as your boss’s failure to equip you with the proper safety gear or adequate training, contact a Riverside personal injury attorney at Estey & Bomberger, LLP to discuss your case. An attorney can help you prove that another person was negligent and this negligence directly caused your injury. Most personal injury attorneys offer free case evaluations, so you have nothing to lose by asking if you may have grounds to sue the responsible party.
Call them in Riverside today! 951-543-9020