Three Misunderstandings About Workers’ Compensation
If you are injured and cannot work, you may be thinking about filing a claim for workers' compensation. However, you may have a certain misunderstanding about what it is and is not. Some of these misunderstandings may lead to hesitation in filing a claim because you don't think you qualify for these benefits. The following are a few common misunderstandings workers have about workers' comp.
You think you don't qualify because you were not working
Although you were at work, you were not performing your job at the moment you were injured. Perhaps you were walking back to your workstation from the restroom when you fell down and hurt yourself. You will still qualify for benefits. The fact that it happened while you were on the clock is what matters. Some employers may try to convince you otherwise, but this is one of the reasons why workers' compensation attorneys exist.
You think the benefits will cover all of your expenses
Although your benefits will likely cover most of your medical expenses, it will not pay for all of the income that you lose during your absence from work. Nor will it cover compensation that many people expect in various personal injury claims such as pain and suffering. This is not to say that you are not entitled to compensation because of your injury, but it will be something that will need to be addressed by a legal action that is outside the scope of workers' compensation. This type of claim will relate to your employer's liability insurance due to some form of negligence.
You think you can't lose your benefits after they're approved
This can be a costly misunderstanding. You should always keep your doctor appointments. If this isn't possible, then reschedule. If word gets back to your employer or the insurance company that you are not keeping appointments or engaged in prescribed physical therapy, it will indicate that you are not as hurt as you claim to be. Also, if you are seen in public engaged in physical actions that are inconsistent with your injuries, you can lose your benefits. Insurance companies have been known to hire private investigators for surveillance when they receive a tip that someone collecting benefits is exaggerating their condition. If you are video recorded lifting a bag of groceries in a supermarket parking lot and you are not supposed to be doing this, you can lose your benefits.
Whether you're hurt now or find yourself injured in the future, keep the information above in mind. And remember to direct any questions you have to an attorney. They are the only people who you can trust to provide you with the most accurate information as it pertains to your situation. They are working in your interest.