There are a lot of preconceptions out there regarding workers’ compensation claims and those who file for them. Unfortunately, these are largely negative and harmful to those seeking compensation for injuries sustained at their place of work. If you were injured at your place of work, but have mixed feelings about workers’ compensation claims, take some time to dispel the myths that are likely affecting your perception of it. Having a clear understanding of these types of cases will help you on your own path.
Here are some of the most common myths regarding workers’ compensation claims:
- Employees intentionally stay out of work because they do not feel like returning: The fact is that, oftentimes, employees do not go back to work because a company will not offer them a transitional duty assignment while they are recovering. Not all employers have transitional duty options and, to avoid setting back their recovery, employees have to postpone their return. Not many people enjoy languishing at home and not having a reliable routine. Employees want to come back to work to interact with their friends in the workforce and to avoid becoming deconditioned during their time off. Employers should seek to create transitional duty opportunities for employees to return to work without harming their recovery.
- Workers’ compensation is costly to employers: Workers’ compensation was designed to act as a shield to protect employers from lawsuits that exposed them to the real cost of a workplace injury, insulating employers from the actual price of workplace injuries. According to the National Academy of Social Insurance estimates, the cost of workers’ compensation in 2013 was 98 cents per every hundred dollars of covered wages. Higher wages generally do not count as a covered wage, which means that the actual percentage of payroll cost is much smaller. Before you start feeling bad for your employer, keep these facts in mind.
- Pursuing a workers’ compensation claim will get you fired: Understandably, it can be somewhat intimidating to file a workers’ compensation claim, especially if you heard horror stories about people losing their jobs after filing one. However, if your employer threatens to terminate your employment after you sustain an injury on the job, federal and state laws will protect you should you choose to continue pursuing your claim. Without a reasonable cause, your employer is not allowed to fire you.
- An employee can file a claim whenever he or she chooses to after the injury: Many people believe that they have endless amounts of time available to them to file a workers’ compensation claim after sustaining an injury at work. This is actually far from reality. You have a limited amount of time to file a claim after a work injury occurs. In cases where an employee sustained an injury due to repetitive motion trauma, or other injuries that might not be noticeable right away, the time limitations will typically begin when you first start having to take time off from work due to the injury. Regardless of the type of injury you sustained, you should never wait until your medical bills are overwhelming and unmanageable before you file a compensation claim.
- An employee can only file a claim if the injury was the employer’s fault: If you believe that you were the cause of your own injury and, therefore, do not think you are owed workers’ compensation benefits, this is actually a myth. An employee can still receive compensation for medical bills even if they were entirely at fault for the accident’s occurrence. That said, you will not be able to sue an employer in court for the injuries.
- No matter how an employee is injured on the job, he or she will still receive workers’ compensation: This is generally true, but there are still some circumstances in which you might not be able to obtain workers’ compensation. For example, mental illness is fairly difficult to connect to a job or position, so if your condition cannot be specifically linked to your duties, you might not have a solid claim. If you were injured while under the influence of drugs or alcohol, this would also make it highly unlikely for you to receive workers’ compensation.
Workers’ Compensation Attorneys in Marietta & Cobb County
If you were injured on the job and are now in the process of filing a workers’ compensation claim, you need an attorney who is skilled and experienced in handling such matters to give yourself the best possible chance of securing the benefits you need. At Chestnut & Beller, our Marietta and Cobb Count team is committed to protecting your rights every step of the way.
Do not hesitate to reach out to our law firm today! Call us at (770) 285-5542 to schedule a free consultation with a knowledgeable member of our legal team.