Understanding and Qualifying for Workers' Compensation

If you've been hurt on the job, then you are probably looking into workers' compensation. However, you might not know exactly what workers' comp is, when it applies, and what to do if you qualify.

What is workers' compensation?

If you watch the news, then you might think that workers' compensation is a huge sum of money given to a worker after they have been injured. Well, this is only partially true.

Firstly, the amount of the compensation will depend on two things: wage replacement and medical bills. The compensation will be proportional to the amount of time that you were unable to work and will be correlated to the amount of money that you were paid. Of course, things like potential promotions might be factored into this calculation. The larger portion of the compensation will probably be derived from medical bills, based on the severity of your injury.

Secondly, the compensation is given in exchange for the explicit loss of your right to sue. If you take workers' comp, then you will forfeit any right to sue for your injury. In some cases, this is because the company does not want the injury to be public, for fear of damaging their public relations. In other cases, lawsuits are simply too costly and time-consuming for the company to even bother. Regardless of the company's motives, you must decide whether workers' compensation is a better option than a lawsuit. In many cases, the reliability of workers' comp makes it a much more attractive option than a lawsuit where you could potentially lose money in the form of lawyer fees.

When does workers' compensation apply?

Not all injuries on the job can be categorized as valid workers' comp incidents. In order for you to get compensated, the injury must not have been your fault. If it was due to the negligence of the company, a failure on the part of the company to inform you of hazardous conditions, or an accident where no party is at fault, then you might have a case. However, if the injury was entirely your fault, then your chances of winning are fairly low.

So you think you have a valid claim. What now?

Now, you should consult a professional workers' compensation lawyer, like J W Chalkley III PA. These specialists are familiar with the system and can tell you whether or not you have a valid case. Even if the lawyer tells you that your claim is weak, it is much better to know that before you file your claim and waste a lot of time and money.