There are many challenges an injured worker may face as part of the workers’ compensation claims process. They may be denied benefits, may be pressured to return to work before they are fully healed or may face retaliation for filing a workers’ compensation claim for benefits. Because of the importance of workers’ compensation benefits to injured workers and their families, it is essential that workers are aware of the circumstances that entitle them to workers’ compensation benefits and the types of benefits they may be able to receive to help with the struggles they face following a workplace injury.
Workers’ compensation benefits may be available for accidents or injuries that occurred at the worker’s workplace during the regular scope of their employment; injuries suffered off of a job site but in the course of the worker performing duties for their employer; or for an illness that develops as a result of work-related duties such as a repetitive stress injury or other type of occupational illness.
Benefits that may be available to an injured worker can include benefits for medical bills, lost wages, permanent disability, vocational rehabilitation and death benefits in circumstances when a worker has lost their life in a fatal workplace accident. In general, the workers’ compensation system does not permit the injured worker to also sue their employer but it may be possible to bring a personal injury claim against a third party in some circumstances.
Because workers’ compensation claims may be denied for a variety of reasons, it is important for injured workers and their families to understand their rights and how to enforce those rights. Familiarity with the workers’ compensation process can help injured workers receive the workers’ compensation benefits they need for themselves and their families.