There are a lot of myths floating around about workers’ compensation insurance that leave workers who could use these benefits confused and unsure of what to do. People often don’t even understand who can qualify for benefits or what kind of benefits might help them given their situation.
Knowing your basic rights and what situations lead to successful workers’ compensation claims can help you determine if you likely qualify for benefits given your current circumstances.
Workers who get hurt on the job have the right to file a claim
It happens every day across the state of California. A piece of machinery malfunctions or another worker fails to follow the proper safety protocol, and someone suddenly winds up in a serious accident on the job.
Whether you fell or got into a situation involving a forklift, those who suffer injuries as a result of an accident on the job have the right to seek workers’ compensation benefits. Those benefits include 100% medical coverage for the treatment of their injuries.
It’s also important to understand that repetitive stress injuries, like carpal tunnel, that develop over time also qualify for coverage under workers’ compensation. If doing the same work every day on the job left you injured and unable to work, you can get the same benefits as someone who gets hurt in a major workplace accident, like a fire.
Workers who develop illnesses because of their job also have rights
Workplace illnesses often result in more complex workers’ compensation claims than injuries. First, a worker has to establish that they have a specific condition. Then, they must connect that condition to their work.
Sometimes, this process is straightforward. Someone who had occupational exposure to asbestos who later develops mesothelioma will have a clear connection between the illness and environmental hazards on the job. Other times, medical documentation may be critical to proving a connection between your condition and your job in order to qualify for workers’ compensation.
Bigger employers may have medical facilities inside their facilities. Other times, you may need to go to a nearby hospital or trauma-care facility. Provided that you report the accident to your employer and follow the proper steps, you should receive full medical coverage and temporary disability coverage if you are unable to work for a while because of the accident.