If you’ve ever been injured on the job, you know how stressful and difficult it can be to figure out how to make ends meet while you heal. In some cases, you may not have waited to heal, knowing that you needed the money, and risked further injury because there was no other option. However, businesses are required to have workers’ compensation coverage (usually the main requirement is that they have more than one employee), and if you’re not receiving it, you should look into getting a workers compensation attorney. Wrongful termination or minimum wage violations based on gender or race could be considered civil rights violations as well, so if you’ve been a victim of either of these scenarios, it’s definitely worth seeking out an attorney to represent your interests.
What is Workers’ Comp and Why Is It So Important?
Workers’ comp means if you were injured at work or another site doing work for your employer, you are eligible to be compensated for the wages or medical costs lost or accrued because of the injury or illness sustained. However, if you accept workers’ compensation, you turn over the right to sue your employee for negligence, so that is one thing to keep in mind.
Workers’ comp can help take some of the financial strain off individuals and/or their families while they recover. Hospital bills can quickly add up and workers’ comp also helps cover other medical expenses, like rehabilitation expenses, apart from your time in the hospital. Additionally, if your recovery time is lengthy, having that disability pay can help significantly. Workers’ comp can give you or your family peace of mind and allow you to recover fully before returning to work.
It is important to note that workers’ compensation benefits are determined by the state. For example, in Iowa, the most money a worker could receive for a lost thumb is a little over $86,000, while in Alabama, a worker would only receive over $13,500, according to Publica statistics in 2015.
What Happens If I’m Denied Workers’ Compensation?
Though each state has different rules and guidelines that dictate workers’ compensation, it’s important to remember that workers’ comp is the law. If your employer fires you or tells you not to file a claim (or retaliates in any other way), they should be reported to your local workers’ compensation office. If you feel that your claim was valid and met time limitations, etc., and feel that this was a civil rights violations, that’s all the more reason to seek action.
You will want to keep in mind that many state laws have a time limit on reporting an injury and filing the claim, and if you miss those cut-offs, you can’t claim workers’ comp. Employers may also file a dispute claim or there might not be enough evidence that the injury was related to your work.
However, you can always appeal the decision to deny you workers’ compensation (and it might be worth getting a workers’ comp attorney on board, at this point). Be sure that you’re documenting each step in the process as well for your own records — you may need them in court later.
What Should I Do If I’ve Faced Civil Rights Violations?
Equal opportunity laws have sought to make workers’ rights more fair, but unfortunately, there are still loopholes and ways that some employers and businesses seek to get around them. If you feel that you’ve been the victim of civil rights violations, speak with a civil rights attorney. The legal issues that surround civil rights can be messy and tough to navigate on your own, so involving someone with the right expertise can go a long way towards achieving the result you’re looking for.
Know that if you’re injured at work, you don’t have to necessarily worry about not providing for yourself or for your family while you recover from your injury. Workers’ compensation is designed to give you that peace of mind and ensure that everyone can recover and heal properly.