In the event of a workplace injury, you should know your rights and your employer’s responsibilities. If you are injured on the job, you can file a workers’ comp claim. As a construction accident lawyer in Newark from a firm like Rispoli & Borneo P.C. can explain, your employer is required to carry workers’ compensation insurance. The employer also has a responsibility to give you a safe work environment.
What is Workers’ Compensation?
Workers’ compensation is a kind of insurance that pays out if you get sick or are injured while working. It is not the same as disability insurance. Disability insurance pays without regard to where or when the injury occurs. Workers’ comp only pays out for employees who are on the job when injured.
Employers are required to offer workers’ compensation to help cover medical and other expenses without going through a lawsuit. This insurance is government-mandated. The trade-off for a guaranteed payout is that you cannot usually file a negligence lawsuit.
Who Pays Claims?
Your employer is required to cover you, but they might not be the ones who handle the claims. Some states run programs that employers pay into. In other cases, large companies cover the expenses themselves. If they cannot afford that, they opt for an insurance plan from a private insurer—the how is less important than the fact that your employer must have something in place.
What Responsibilities Does My Employer Have?
Your employer is responsible for having coverage and for making information about that coverage easy to access. Usually, this means having information about how to file a claim posted somewhere that employees can easily read it. If you are not sure about how to proceed, you should talk to whoever handles human resources at your company.
Just having insurance is not enough. Your employer is also obligated to keep the workplace free of known hazards. Here are a few ways things that might include:
- Giving safety training
- Providing safety gear
- Keeping machines safe
They also cannot terminate your employment because you report a hazard that you find. That includes filing a complaint with OSHA. If you find yourself demoted, terminated, or otherwise retaliated against after filing such a complaint, you can file a whistleblower complaint with OSHA.
Your employer must provide workers’ compensation benefits for injuries or illnesses that happen on the job. If you are not sure about how your company handles workers’ comp, speak to whoever handles HR. If you have problems with your employer regarding workers’ comp, contact an attorney that specializes in workers’ compensation to discuss your options.