Have you or someone you know suffered a personal injury at work? Did you know that, with few exceptions, you cannot sue your employer? Your primary source of recovery is through the worker’s compensation court system. Knowing your rights and those of your employer are critical to navigating the worker’s comp maze.
First, most personal injuries at the workplace fall into two categories. One is ACCIDENTAL and the other is OCCUPATIONAL. If you suffer a specific injury on a date certain (e.g. you suffer a knee injury on April 23, 2012) then your claim is accidental. If your injury is one that evolves over time and is not linked to a specific occurrence, then it is deemed occupational. Most claims are admitted by the employer’s insurance company although in some instances they are denied until proven. In each case a full investigation by all of the parties involved is required.
Typically, the worker that suffers personal injuries on the job is entitled to 3 types of benefits. The first is MEDICAL BENEFITS. Your employer and it’s insurance company are obligated to provide you with the medical treatment you need at absolutely no cost to you. This is totally different from any health insurance benefits you may also receive through work. Understand, however, that your employer’s insurance carrier is permitted to control the doctors and facilities that treat you. You are not, absent an emergency, permitted to treat on your own with the doctors of your own choosing. The worker’s comp insurance company, generally, won’t pay these bills.