Workers’ compensation seeks to protect workers by ensuring they get adequate financial support if they sustain injuries because of work. However, the system for workers’ compensation can become confusing, especially since the outcome tends to change depending on the circumstances. Understanding the typical concerns of workers’ comp will help you be ready if you ever need to go through the system.
1. What is workers’ compensation?
All work carries some health risks due to occupational hazards. The goal of occupational health and safety is to ensure that workers have adequate protection from threats. However, accidents can happen even in the safest workplaces.
Workers’ compensation kicks in when employees sustain work-related injuries, allowing them access to financial support to offset costs and enabling them to recover without worrying about medical costs and lost wages.
2. What are the potential benefits I can get from workers’ compensation?
The benefits of workers’ comp are financial. The most direct form is when all your medical bills for treatment are covered.
Aside from the reimbursement of medical costs, you may also receive disability payments. This payment scheme serves to partially replace lost wages if you cannot work while you’re recovering. If the accident causes permanent disability, you may receive additional compensation based on the severity of your condition.
Finally, you can be given support to pursue reskilling and training if the injury forces you to shift to a different job.
3. What’s the general process for filing a claim under workers’ compensation?
While the exact process can vary based on your employer and location, there is a general process for filing claims.
You must first describe the injury to your supervisor immediately. Waiting to notify your superior can weaken your claim. Even seemingly minor injuries should be communicated promptly, given that many incidents, such as head trauma, may not show immediate symptoms.
Second, you need to consult with a medical professional as soon as possible. Aside from the need to get prompt treatment, the assessment you’ll receive from the doctor is required to complete the claim. The diagnosis will determine the severity of your injuries, which will determine the compensation you’re supposed to receive.
Lastly, you need to file a claim form. It serves to document your injury and other relevant information, such as the events leading to the incident and the medical treatment you received. Note that this step is time-sensitive, so if you delay too much, you may forfeit your claim.
4. What are the examples of injuries that qualify for workers’ compensation?
Typical examples include hearing loss caused by loud noises in an industrial setting, injury caused by a fall, and head trauma caused by a collision in a construction site. Many jobs, particularly those requiring manual labor, can cause back injuries. Damage to extremities can also occur when working with machinery. Meanwhile, exposure to chemicals can lead to lung or eye problems. Even cardiovascular disease caused by excessive workplace stress can be a valid claim. When in doubt, consult with legal experts for clarifications.
5. Can pursuing workers’ compensation hurt my career prospects?
Employees are legally prohibited from discriminating against you if you file for workers’ comp. You cannot be fired or terminated if you file a workplace-related injury. The only exception is when you cannot return to work due to your medical condition. Even in this case, the employer should give you alternate work options or vocational rehabilitation benefits.
Workers’ Comp Services in Colorado
At WorkPartners Occupational Health in Grand Junction, Colorado, we offer top-notch services for occupational illnesses and conditions. Our specialists help workers get back on their feet after getting injured on the job. We can help you navigate the claim process, recovery, your employer’s needs, and the requirements of their insurance carrier. For inquiries, call now at (970) 241-5585 or use our online form to schedule an appointment.