It is not new in the work force to learn about the benefits coupled with the security of tenure of an employee, whether in private or public sector. Benefits is one of the factors to be considered whenever you’re looking for a job.
As a legal researcher of a law firm, it is important for me to be knowledgeable of my rights and privileges as a worker. We have labor laws that serves as a safeguard from involuntary servitude or unjust enrichment in the workplace. It is our right to know our benefits aside from the salary we received.
Depending on one’s nature of work, workplace accidents are inevitable and can be a force majeure in fulfilling our duties. With workmen’s compensation, injured employees are entitled to claim specific compensation. Workmen’s compensation clauses are part of state laws as well as in the working industry though they may vary to each businesses. Workmen’s compensation serves as an insurance to injured employees since it only covers accidents in relation to their employment.
Hogan Injury, a legal firm based in California, provides us pointers that you should know as an employee to successfully file a workers’ compensation claim if you suffered an injury or damage during a workplace accident:
1. Every employee is expected to act in a responsible manner inside the workplace. – You are not entitled to a claim if you were injured while violating a rule or regulation which specifically forbids you from participating in the activity that caused your injury. Your claim would also be invalidated if you were intoxicated or under the influence of illegal drugs when the workplace accident took place, or if you were injured while committing a crime inside your workplace.
2. It is your responsibility to report the injury. – If a workplace accident occurs and you are injured, make sure to report it to your employer or direct supervisor immediately. Your employer would then need to fill out a form, sometimes called “First Report of Injury”. Make sure that your employer fills this form, review it to be sure of its accuracy, and request a copy for yourself.
3. Keep all records of the accident and your injury. – Aside from the “First Report of Injury”, other documents pertaining to the accident should be kept and guarded for future reference and need. Documents like doctor’s records and forms you might receive from your employer’s workers’ compensation carrier should always be available to you.
4. Cooperate with your employer’s workers’ compensation carrier. – Depending on the insurance provider of your employer, you may need to undergo examination from a doctor of their choosing. This process is called “Independent Medical Examination” or IME and is often used by insurance companies to make sure that all your reported injuries and its severity are true. It may raise suspicions if you refuse to agree to an examination.
5. Get help when handling your claim. – Although a lawyer is not required when filing a workers’ compensation claim, consulting with an experienced lawyer on the subject may prove useful. Workers’ compensation claims often involve a lot of benefit computation and an expert may be able to help you compute for what you deserve and guide you through the workers’ compensation laws of your state.
To top it all, it is important for us to learn about our rights in our workplace and how states encourage the protection for the right to labor. So, be fully informed with your rights.
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Disclaimer: this post is in collaboration with Hogan Injury.