Workers Compensation - Know Your Legal Rights

Data from the Bureau of Labor Standards in 2014 showed that around 4,769 workers died in that year as a result of work-related injuries in the United States. Moreover, an estimated 250,000 injury claims were submitted and more than 11 billion dollars in workers compensation paid.

Common industries with workplace accidents

The highest incidences of workplace injuries occur in construction, manufacturing, agriculture, transportation, mining and quarrying, and oil and gas extraction industries – but they can occur in any setting, and in any sized business.

Work-related injuries can result from:

  • Exposure to harmful environmental conditions and substances
  • Slips and falls
  • Contact with equipment and objects
  • Transportation incidents
  • Violent attacks by animals and people encountered at work

Who are liable for workers compensation?

Workers compensation laws in the United States are generally designed to provide fixed monetary benefits to workers who are injured on the job, without need for assigning fault or blame to the employer. When workers are killed in a work-related accident, their dependents may be entitled to monetary benefits.

State laws on workers compensation often limit the amount that an injured worker or his dependents may claim for an incident. Depending on the circumstances of the workplace accident, the monetary benefit may be insufficient to cover expenses for extensive medical treatment, lost wages or salaries, and the immeasurable pain and suffering that the injured worker and his family may experience as a result of the accident.

Claiming damages for work-related injury

Depending on the circumstances of a workplace accident, a worker or his family may have a right of action for damages against the employer if the injury is due to the employer’s intentional or reckless conduct, or when the employer does not carry workers compensation insurance. Any potential liability for damages can be claimed in a separate civil action in court, with the help of an experienced personal injury attorney.

Workers compensation claims are covered by complicated rules with strict time limits and complex documents to fill out. A competent and experienced attorney can significantly reduce the burden of dealing with insurance companies and, if necessary, pursue the appropriate legal action against the persons or parties responsible for your injuries in court. Filing your claim on time is important if you are to preserve your rights.

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