About 3 million work-related injuries are reported by private sector employers annually, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. You possess five essential rights if you are injured in the workplace.
Right to File a Worker’s Compensation Claim
One of the most basic rights you have if you are injured on the job is to tile a worker’s compensation claim. In all 50 states, a system of worker’s compensation exists to provide appropriate recompense when a person is injured on the job.
The employer has a responsibility to ensure that an injured worker has access to the claims process. This includes providing you with any necessary forms and necessary information associated with filing and pursuing a worker’s compensation claim.
Right to See a Doctor
In the aftermath of an injury at work, you have the right to see a doctor and obtain appropriate medical treatment. The employer cannot block you in any way from taking this step. If you have a regular physician, and seeing that doctor is appropriate to the injuries sustained, you typically would have the ability to see that doctor.
Right to Disability Compensation
If the work-related injury results in some type of permanent disability, you have the right to obtain specific compensation for this disability. More often than not, a state worker’s compensation system has established guidelines regarding what is paid for certain types of disabilities.
Right to Appeal a Worker’s Compensation Decision
If you do not agree with the determination made regarding your worker’s compensation claim, you have the right to appeal that decision. As an aside, the employer needs to provide you with information about how to pursue an appeal of an initial worker’s compensation decision.
Right to Legal Counsel
When pursuing a worker’s compensation claim, you have the right to legal representation. There are attorneys that specifically practice in the area of worker’s compensation law.
The process of retaining a worker’s comp lawyer begins by scheduling an initial consultation. There typically is no charge for this preliminary appointment with an attorney. At an initial consultation, an attorney will more fully explain your rights and interests in a worker’s compensation matter.
Worker’s compensation attorneys work on a contingency fee basis. What that means is that you do not owe a fee until you receive an award in your worker’s compensation case. State worker’s compensation laws governing how much an attorney can earn in fees in a particular case.