Part One

Hello again, Attorney Paul Samakow here,

This is part one of a two-part series on what you need to know if you’ve been injured on the job and are considering filing a workers’ compensation or personal injury claim.

In today’s blog you’ll gain a basic understanding of how workers’ compensation claims work, who is covered, and who is likely to be denied coverage.   In part two I’ll go into greater detail about your treatment options, how pre-existing injuries affect your claim and your rights as an injured worker.

Now let’s jump right in.

Under most circumstances workers’ compensation will provide benefits for injured workers.   The program was designed to help with lost wages, medical care and vocational rehabilitation if injured on the job.    It is a “no-fault” system which means the injured worker doesn’t have to prove their employer was negligent.

Coverage will likely be granted assuming the injury occurred while the worker was performing their expected duties on the job. Coverage can be denied if the injuries occurred while the employee was intoxicated; or if the employee was injured while committing a crime or violating company policy.   Also if the injuries were self-inflicted, or the result of them starting a fight, coverage can be denied.

Most on the job injuries are covered by workers compensation.  Benefits are offered for temporary and permanent injuries. Diseases which come from the work environment including lung disease and stress related problems can be covered as well.  And repetitive stress injuries such as carpal tunnel syndrome and degenerative back and neck problems are often covered through workers’ compensation.

In the unfortunate event of the death of an injured worker, benefits are paid to the worker’s dependents.

Most workers are covered by workers compensation, but there are notable exceptions.  This includes business owners, independent contractors, casual workers, domestic employees in private homes, farm workers, maritime workers, railroad employees and unpaid volunteers. Also, if you work for an employer who employs less than five people, you may not be eligible because state laws will not require them to obtain coverage.

Workers are covered while performing their duties on the job and off.  If you are injured while traveling on business, doing a work-related errand, or attending a business related social function, you can be covered.

If you’ve been injured on the job or in a work-related event, report your injury or illness to your employer.  If the injury or illness happens gradually over time, you need to report it as soon as you realize it was caused by your work.

You need to seek medical care for your injuries and follow your doctors orders. If you are told to limit or restrict your movements and activities, do what your doctor says.

Your next step will be to file a claim with your workers’ compensation insurance carrier.

When your ready to file your workers’ comp claim, give my office a call.    A member of my dedicated staff will be here to answer your questions and help in everyway we can.

Call 703-854-9288 or 301-298-8383.

Well, that’s all for now.   In my next blog post I’ll discuss your treatment options, how pre-existing injuries affect your claim and your rights as an injured worker.

Until next time, please be safe, and NEVER text while driving!

Attorney Paul Samakow

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