There were 2.7 million non-fatal workplace injuries in the United States reported by private industry employers in 2020 alone. Like layers of an onion, any time your client is injured at work there are layers of paperwork and procedures that must be addressed. It’s a whole different ball game than if your client were hurt in their own home. Due diligence is the best way to approach this situation and come out on top.
Workers’ compensation insurance is designed to help workers recover financial compensation in the aftermath of an injury or illness. It is not a personal injury claim and there is no jury trial, and your client is not entitled to damages for pain and suffering. However, your client does not need to show any negligence or fault from the employer.
- Overexertion: Back injuries and pulled muscles in the workplace are common in construction, manufacturing, factory work, and other occupations where physical labor is required.
Slip-and-Fall Accidents: Slip-and-falls often take place on wet floors that have a spill or were recently cleaned.
- Struck-by-Object Accidents: Objects fall off shelves, employees drop items, and projectiles are sent flying. Resulting injuries are common in office spaces, restaurants, retail, and construction, among other industries.
Falls: Falling may lead to severe injuries and require extensive time away from work.
- Hazardous Materials: Protective clothing, gloves, and eyewear are mandatory for employees whose jobs require them to be around chemicals and other hazardous materials. Exposure to such dangerous substances can lead to burns, skin infections, respiratory diseases, and other serious ailments.
- Repetitive Motion Injuries: Carpal tunnel syndrome may occur when an employee is engaged in a repetitive motion such as typing. Data operators and other office employees may be subject to this type of injury.
- Motor Vehicle Accidents: Truck or delivery drivers that are hit by a third party may have a workers’ compensation claim against their employer as well as a personal injury claim against the third party.
Workers’ Compensation may cover the following:
- Medical expenses, including hospital and emergency room visits, doctor’s appointments, medications, and medical equipment
- Temporary or permanent disability
- Rehabilitation to help pay for physical therapy and other therapeutic care
- Future medical care and future loss of income
- Death in the circumstance that an employee’s death takes place on the job. Family members who were financially dependent may be compensated.
- Immediately report the accident to their employer. By law it must be within 30 days, but we recommend filing a report immediately.
- Insurance companies have designated doctors that determine the extent of your injuries. Your client cannot choose his or her own doctor.
- Based on the doctor’s determination, the insurance company will decide what they will cover.
It is in the insurance company’s best interest to offer the least coverage possible. The less medical care and therapeutic support provided and the shortest time out of work, the less the cost for the insurance company.
A Morgan & Morgan workers’ compensation attorney will be able to help your client at any stage of the workers’ compensation claim. They can argue against the doctor's determination to ensure your client gets the medical coverage and time-off needed to recover. If your client’s claim is denied, we can fight for compensation.
If your client is a 1099 or undocumented worker, they may still be eligible for workers’ compensation. A Morgan & Morgan attorney will review your client’s claim and advise on options.
While it is illegal for your client’s employer to fire your client for filing a workers’ compensation claim, it could happen. It could be they don’t have a “light-duty” job available after your client’s injury. A Morgan & Morgan attorney will fight to keep your client employed.