If you were hurt while working, then you might qualify for workers' compensation. However, you might not be sure exactly how workers' comp works and what you need to actually do. To help you get started, here is an overview:
What is workers' comp?
Workers' comp is a government-backed program that is used to replace wages and reimburse medical expenses that were incurred due to an injury sustained while on the job. The general idea is that your company pays some amount of money to an insurance company each year as a sort of insurance premium. When someone gets injured at the company, they are reimbursed by the insurer rather than by the company. This provides businesses with a safety net and mitigates the chances of a damaging lawsuit. This is mainly because workers' compensation is mutually exclusive with lawsuits. If you file for workers' comp, then you will be totally unable to file a lawsuit for that same accident or injury.
Your exact circumstances will determine just how valid your case is and how likely you are to receive workers' comp.
How does one file for workers' comp?
Shortly after you are injured (within a month or two, depending on your state), you will need to notify your employer of your injury. In some states, you will be given forms that you need to fill out and return to your employer. Your employer is then supposed to tell the insurer about your injury. At this point, the insurer will try to verify your injury and determine the validity of your claim. This can involve an independent medical examination, but it all depends on the nature of your injury. Some injuries won't require a lot of investigation (such as a broken arm in a workplace accident that was caught on film), while others might be looked at more closely (such as complaints of chronic work-related pain).
So why not file for a lawsuit?
You might be tempted to file for a lawsuit if you get injured, but this might not be the best ideal. Lawsuits are less likely to work out in your favor, and even if they do, it will cost you a lot of time and money. Filing for workers' comp is a quick and painless process, while filing a lawsuit can be a long and arduous task. Even if you do successfully file a lawsuit, you might not be lucky enough to get a quick settlement. You might end up fighting a protracted court case where you spend a ton of money on legal fees. Contact a lawyer, such as Franco Law Firm, for more info.