Every state has workers compensation laws for compensating an employee for workplace injuries. In most states, it will be called workers compensation or workmen's compensation, but it is still the same thing. While specific workers compensation laws and systems vary from state to state, there are still general principles that are applicable to all states. Here are 5 little-known facts that everybody ought to know.
5. Not every employer is required to have a workers compensation fund
Every state has set a minimum number of employees that a business has to have before they are required to have a workers compensation fund. The number may be one employee, but it is normally 2 to 4 employees. So, if you work in a small business your employer may not be required to have a workers compensation fund.
Also, a good thing to remember is that not every employee is always covered. Most states will recognize that businesses sometimes hire "casual" or part time employees and these employees are not covered by workers compensation.
4. You dont have to prove that your employer was at fault or did something wrong.
Normally, in personal injury situations where you are hurt, you are required to prove that another person was responsible for causing your injury through direct or indirect actions. However, to make it easier for the average worker to get medical treatment and compensation for an injury suffered at work, workers compensation laws don't require the proof of who was at fault. Whether it be the employer who is at fault or even the employee it does not make a difference. All that the employee is required to do is prove that his or her injury/injuries happened while at work.
3. You have to go to the medical provider that your employer sends you to.
It may not seem fair, but in some states your employer is the one who picks the medical provider that you see for any workplace related injuries. Also, if you refuse to go to that provider your are at risk of losing your workers compensation claim. Employers are the ones who will pay the medical bills for the provider. If you want to see your own doctor, you will have to pay the bill yourself. Contact your local attorney what the law is in your town.
2. Many workers comp lawyers will handle a workers comp cases on a contingency fee basis
Most states are not going to allow legal counsel to charge a worker/client a flat fee to handle any workers compensation cases. They will require the workers compensation lawyers to work on a contingency fee basis which basically means that the lawyer will get paid a percentage of the total amount they recover for the worker/client. If the lawyer does not recover any money or compensation for the worker/client, then the lawyer won't get paid.
1. All legal fees must be approved by the Workers Compensation Commission or Board
Every single state has a Workers Compensation Commission or Board. The state may call the commission or board by a different name, but they all serve the same purpose, to resolve any disputes between both parties that relate to an employee's injury. As part of resolving disputes, the commission or board is required to approve any and all workers compensation attorney fees. Normally, fees are roughly 15% of the total value awarded to the injured employee.
Shulman & Hill Workers Compensation Firm 44 Court St, suite 808 Brooklyn, NY 11201 (718) 852-4700 http://www.shulmanwc.com
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