Compensation claims. Specifically, workplace compensation claims.
Still here? Good, I was half expecting you to run off at the mention of a claim. We’ve all been bombarded to death by compensation ads already, which isn’t a surprise because some people will use any excuse to try and create a lawsuit.
What we all need to remember is that there are many, many legitimate claims out there. People get hurt every day while performing their job. Sometimes it’s a genuine accident or a bit of carelessness from the victim themselves. There are other times though when that isn’t true, times when the employer has put their employee in a dangerous situation. This might by knowingly done, or unknowingly. Either way, the effect is going to be the same.
Injuries in the workplace can range from minor inconveniences to death. There are always problems happening around the country, employees getting hurt or being exposed to dangerous situations they shouldn’t be. Thankfully, the number of major incidents is pretty low, and we don’t really suffer widespread catastrophe’s these days.
While big incidents involving multiple people usually get a lot of media coverage, those involving a single victim don’t. This isn’t just because of the number of victims though, it’s because workplace injuries are more common than most people would imagine. This is the entire reason we’re all flooded with workplace compensation ad’s every day – because every day, around 14 US citizens don’t even make it home from work. That already sounds like a lot, but it doesn’t even include the hundreds of others who suffer minor or major injuries each day. That’s right, hundreds of victims each day, or thousands each week. Do you see why workplace compensation is such a hot issue in modern society?
As an employer, your boss has a responsibility to provide a safe working environment. A good system incorporates feedback and analysis on how well it’s performing. These are the keys to having a successful safety system because any potential problems can be spotted and dealt with ahead of time. Adaptations in the system are likely to be needed over time as the job role or the setting of your work may change. Being able to use a fluid system is best for this reason, it allows health & safety procedures and practices to be changed on the fly, so they’re always working in the best way possible. This is the best way to minimize the chances of a workplace injury.
Unfortunately, there are situations when an injury is going to occur. Even the best of systems can have a loophole or a momentary lapse. If the worst does happen, the first thing you must do is make your employer aware of the situation. Reporting the injury is the first step towards having a valid claim, and most places will require you to report it on the day it happens – or at most, a few days later.
If you fail to make a quick report, the severity of the injury could be questioned in court. What’s even worse is that if you leave work without reporting the injury, your employer can claim the injury happened outside of the workplace. If this happens, it’s your job to prove otherwise and that can be difficult if there are no witnesses or camera evidence to back up your claim.
The first right you have, and will want to exercise, is the right to claim workplace compensation. This is a legal right which you have, and one which your employer has no right to put you off from making. In most cases, any compensation will come from a compensation scheme or insurance policy rather than out of your boss’s pocket. While this is a better situation for your employer, having a claim against them still isn’t in their favor, so don’t expect them to be happy or co-operative about the ordeal.
With that said, your employer can’t treat you any differently just because you’ve made a claim. If they do, you might also have a claim for workplace discrimination, so it’s genuinely in their best interests to keep you happy and just let you get on with the process.
You also have the right to medical treatment via your employer. It’s recommended that you use this option, as quick diagnosis and treatment are helpful towards making a quick and complete recovery. Not only that, but they can also be helpful towards proving the facts around your injury, and your compensation claim.
If you are unable to work after the accident, you also have the right to sick or disability pay. Because the situation falls under the responsibility of your employer, there usually isn’t a hard limit on what compensation can be claimed.
On the flipside, if you’ve been given the all clear by a doctor, you have the right to return to work. Your employer can’t forcibly keep you out of the workplace, whether it’s for personal reasons, to do with your claim, or to keep you from being able to earn a wage. Trying to do this is discrimination and can backfire against the employer.
You also have the right to seek and use legal advice at any stage of the process. Likewise, you have the right to disagree and appeal any decisions made throughout your work compensation claim. This includes decisions made by a court, insurer or your employer.
Remember that on the flipside, you have the right to refuse anything which goes against the above points. Such as if an employer asks you to pay for your own treatment or use your own insurance, even with the promise of reimbursement, you have the right to refuse – and you should use that right. Try to stick to the above procedures if you want a successful claim, and don’t be afraid to stick to your guns when confronted by your employer. Remember, the law protects you, they can’t force you to do anything and they can’t retaliate against you either.
Third Party Claims
Third party claims are another avenue you might want to explore. This covers situations where you aren’t responsible, but neither is your employer. Perhaps you were using a piece of hire equipment which malfunctioned or were being transported by a 3rd party when the accident occurred.
In these situations, you are still entitled to claim, but the process is different from workplace compensation. Discussing the specifics with a lawyer are the best way to find out what your actual options are. With that said, most 3rd party situations will lead to a civil case instead of a workplace case. These cases can actually lead to more compensation as a civil case allows more types of compensation and damages than a workplace case does.