Unfortunately, it is not uncommon for workers to get injured in the workplace. Whether it is due to dangerous working conditions, faulty equipment, worker neglect or simply just an accident, it is important for workers to know and understand workers' compensation laws are in place to help in the event of a workplace injury.
Workers' compensation follows a no-fault system, meaning that regardless of the cause of the workplace injury, a worker is entitled to financial compensation if the injury, disease or condition leads to a lengthy loss of work. For instances of equipment failure or product defect, a worker may focus on a third party to obtain compensation for the injury. In such instances, the employer may also seek reimbursement for previous workers' compensation payments made.
Many workers many not be aware that workers' compensation extends to more than just injuries that occur while at the workplace. For example, if a preexisting condition is aggravated, a worker many be entitled to workers' compensation. Diseases that develop from the exposure of toxic working conditions may also be considered when seeking workers' compensation. And, even injuries that occur while on break or at company events such as a party or picnic may be included. In addition, workers who are subjected to harassment by fellow employees or superiors and workers who suffer significant stresses due to a hostile work environment may be entitled to workers' compensation.
In order to prevent possible delays and to make certain that claims are addressed properly, it is important to take action quickly. First, one should report the injury, illness or condition to the person's employer immediately. People should then fill out a claim form, keep a copy for their own records and return a copy to their employer. The employer must then take the appropriate steps to see that their claim is properly addressed. If people believe that there are issues regarding their claim, they may wish to speak with the workers' compensation commissioner's office, or speak with a law professional for further guidance.
Source: By findlaw.com, "Workers' Comp In-Depth," Accessed on Aug. 16, 2016