Before workers’ compensation laws were enacted and workers were injured on the job, they would have to suffer the consequences on their own or find a way to hire an attorney and sue their employers; however, few workers won. Since most injured workers had little money and were going against wealthy employers with deep pockets, it was common for workers to walk away empty-handed. Often, a workplace injury was devastating to a worker’s family.
Fortunately, lawmakers caught on to this problem and they realized the system was seriously broken. So, to protect injured workers and their families from suffering such irreparable harm and financial ruin, workers’ compensation laws were enacted across the country.
Today, workers’ compensation is a no-fault system, which means employees can collect workers’ compensation benefits regardless of their degree of responsibility for the accident. However, once a worker files a claim for benefits, they’re barred from filing a separate lawsuit against their employer.
Workers’ Fear of Filing a Claim
A lot of injured workers are afraid to file a claim for benefits out of fear their employers will retaliate and fire them. Instead of receiving the necessary medical care and taking a break so they can heal, the injured worker will work anyway, putting undue stress on their body and working in pain, sometimes severe pain, every day. Such behaviors can lead to aggravated injuries, reliance on pain medications which lead to other health problems, and a decreased quality of life.
“Are there any situations where a worker’s claim may be denied?” is a question we’re asked often. Yes, there are certain situations where a claim may be denied, such as:
- The injury was not work-related
- The injury occurred off work hours
- The injury occurred while the worker was under the influence of drugs or alcohol
- The injury occurred while the worker was intentionally trying to hurt themselves or someone else
Were you injured in a work-related accident or are you suffering from an occupational disease? If so, the workers’ compensation system may help you cope with your workplace injuries. You may be entitled to medical benefits and lost wages. To get the peace of mind you need, contact our office to explore filing a workers’ compensation claim.