What is Worker’s Compensation?
Worker’s Compensation (or workman’s comp) is a crucial part of the stability of our modern day workplace. In California, without a good compensation program in place, worker’s could be left out in the cold after an injury incident.
Workplace Injury in California
If you are on the job 8 hours-a-day 5 days-a-week, there is a definite risk of getting hurt. After all, your job takes up the bulk of your day! Worker’s compensation is an overarching program that gives employees the right to covered medical care or financial relief.
A stronger definition: “Worker’s Comp is a form of insurance that provides compensation medical care for employees who are injured in the course of employment, in exchange for mandatory relinquishment of the employee’s right to sue his or her employer for the tort of negligence. While plans differ between jurisdictions, especially in California, provision can be made for weekly payments in place of wages (functioning in this case as a form of disability insurance), compensation for economic loss (past and future), reimbursement or payment of medical and like expenses (functioning in this case as a form of health insurance), and benefits payable to the dependents of workers killed during employment. General damages for pain and suffering, and punitive damages for employer negligence, are generally not available in worker compensation plans.” – en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Workers_compensation
For worker’s compensation to take effect, an injury or illness has to occur during the course of standard employment.
The Catch with Workman’s Comp
As you may have noticed in the above definition, employees are often waved of their right to sue for negligence when participating in a worker’s compensation program. This allows companies to protect themselves from larger more detrimental settlements.
Punitive damages, or those incidences caused by neglect and negligence of an employer, are generally not a part of worker’s compensation cases.
The Importance of State
When it comes to workman’s comp, every state has its own set of rules and statutes.
One of the first things you have to do when considering workman’s comp is recognizing which state you are legally working in. From their, it is critical to acquire a skilled personal injury lawyer familiar with your state’s system.
As with any form of insurance, companies will often try to find any and every reason not to pay you. Sometimes they may be correct under the letter of the law, but to get your fair chance at financial or medical relief you need to come prepared with a competent attorney. At the very least, have one look over the details of your case. Most good attorney’s will provide you with a free legal consultation.
Workers Compensation and Acupuncture
Recently, it has become more common for employees today to work from home for at least some of the work week. Working from home is also called telecommuting. It can have tremendous benefits for an employee who gets a flexible schedule and saves on commuting costs. The employer also saves because they don't need to maintain a physical workspace.
Despite the flexibility, employees who work from home may wonder if their home office is covered for workers' compensation benefits. The answer is, potentially.
If an injury occurs from performing the duties required by your job than you will be covered by the benefits of workers' compensation. It will not matter if you were doing the work from home or another location. Should an injury occur while you are doing your job tasks and you can prove that it happened that way, then you can file a workers' comp claim.
It is important to note that it will be more difficult for telecommuters to prove a workers' comp claim than it will be for someone working in an office. This makes it important for a work at home employee to keep detailed records to explain their work and show how it is separated from their social and individual time. Of course, for employees who need to meet with clients and entertain can find this line becomes blurry.
Even if you work as a salesperson who spends a lot of their hours entertaining customers and building a relationship you should be covered for injuries sustained while working. If a salesman takes a client to dinner to finalize a business deal and then gets in a car accident on the way back to their home office, they should be able to file for workers compensation. It should not matter that the home office is also their private residence.
For someone that does work from home it would be beneficial to keep a daily record of tasks that were performed that are job related. A simple journal outlining all workday accomplishments. This will help in the future if a work injury attorney needs to evaluate the circumstance of the injury.
Clearly defining the work day and what is included will help differentiate tasks that were for personal reasons and tasks that were work related. Even though it's harder to prove it is definitely possible to collect workers' compensation after and injury in the home office.
Workers' Compensation - Settling Vs Trial
If someday you become the victim of an accident where you work, things might get really messy. Asking for a work injury claim is quite normal, if you can no longer give 100% doing your job, because of injuries and possible disabilities that can follow. Getting back to full health is a matter of time, and meanwhile your colleagues could change the way they interact with you, because of your health problems.
Some will decide that it's you who is slowing down the activities, and others will maybe accuse you that the only problem is that you're just faking that you have problems, when in fact you don't want to work at all.
The conclusion is that it may very well happen that you no longer feel good at work, even if you know you have done nothing wrong. You just happened to be the victim of an accident. It happens in lots of places and the unfortunate victims have no blame for it. There are many bad things that can follow, like cuts from your paycheck, losing the opportunity of being promoted, and ultimately you could even get fired for good.
Are You Going To Get Sacked?
But the good part is that you can easily make a work injury claim. Of course there is the possibility that you will be accused of trying to rip-off the company and take undeserved money, which can deteriorate relationships with your colleagues. However a work accident claim can make your life easier in more than one way. Most important thing is the money you will earn, and money is of course why we work in the first place.
A specialist will analyze the seriousness of your injury and how much your bodily functions are compromised and with that he will determine the amount of your compensation claim. Also, this will make the respective company more aware of the danger menacing its workers, and this leads to an improvement of work conditions and prevention of accidents.
Furthermore, the medical assessment can act as indubitable proof to your colleagues that you weren't in fact lazy and you did want to work. So if you've been the victim of an accident that was not provoked by you, the company should pay for it, because they certainly didn't follow the proper Health and Safety Regulations.
And because, obviously, your health conditions don't influence only your efficaciousness at work but also has a lot to do with the way you live your personal life, a workplace accident claim is a great way to make you feel better.
I Had An Accident At Work - What are my options?
If you want to do a proper claim for a workplace injury then you must follow certain steps and make everything right First thing's first. Soon after the accident, it should be put down in the company's accident book. This item should be there if your company has over 10 people hired.
Given the case that the book doesn't exist or it can't be used for any reason then you should talk with your boss and tell him in detail about what happened and what injuries you got. Provided you have witnesses, you should bring them too and let them add more details.
The normal thing your employer should do is to tell you to put it all on paper, it's much better than just talking about it. This way the details of the accident remain written down, and you eliminate the possibility of forgetting some of them. A good idea would be to snap some pictures of the zone involved and add them to your file.
After that, the medical assessment made by your doctor is a thing you absolutely must do. The worst cases are when the injuries are so serious that some people can't work at all. If this happens to you, you must organize your statutory sick pay with your boss. You may find that useful for your accident injury claim to at least recover your lost money.
Anyway, you will need to talk to an accident solicitor in order to make sure you get compensated. This person will tell you everything you need to know about how to properly make a claim. But beware of the solicitors that ask you for fees before helping you, because the ones that really do their job well usually go with the 'No Win No Fee' slogan, which can guarantee that you won't lose any money, no matter the result.
And if your claim is successful, you receive 100% of your workplace injury compensation. If you have uncertainties about how you should act in such circumstances then contact a solicitor. But can you see any reason why you shouldn't use a professional and a 100% free based service that can bring you compensation for your accident at work?
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