What Workers Should Know About On-The-Job Injuries
On-the-job injuries are common. If you have an injury or illness due to your job, you may be entitled to money under workers’ compensation laws. The injury may be from a single act (like hurting your back in a fall or getting in a car accident while making deliveries) or from constant exposure to activities or substances at work (like hurting your wrist from doing the same motion repeatedly or losing your hearing due to constant loud noise).
Workers’ compensation laws help make sure that workers have enough money to care for themselves and their families while they are out of work. They also help injured workers get well so they can return to work. Almost all businesses are subject to workers’ compensation laws.
The heart of the workers’ compensation laws is the benefits they provide to injured workers. The employer, not the worker, pays for these benefits. There are different kinds of workers’ compensation benefits you may receive, including money to replace some of your lost wages and medical benefits.
Third Party Workers' Compensation
If you or people you know have been injured on the job, you may be entitled to workers' compensation benefits if your employer is a subscriber to the workers' compensation act. The workers' compensation law prior to January 1991 was based on a person's loss of earning capacity. In 1991, the law changed and addressed losses in terms of impairment ratings. You may also have a so-called "third party suit" against a negligent or legally responsible party who proximately caused your injury. Examples of these claims are workers injured by defective products or workers injured by workers of another employer.
If you have or think you may have a third party suit, you should consult with an attorney at the earliest possible moment as such cases can be bared by statute of limitation if the suit is not timely filed. Also third party cases generally require considerable investigations. You may have been injured while working for an employer who does not carry workers' compensation insurance, in which case you should contact an attorney to discuss any negligent action against your employer.