Every year, millions of Americans are injured on the job. Luckily, insurance laws are set into place to protect workers in the event of an injury that occurred on-site or while on the clock. The process is designed to be pretty straightforward, assuming your employer is helping or guiding you through the process. Unfortunately, this is not always the case. If you find yourself in a situation where your employer refuses to file a workers comp claim, it is critical for you to know your rights in the event of a workplace injury.
Workers Compensation Laws
Workers’ Comp laws vary in each state, but the law’s premise remains the same; to protect workers and businesses by covering injuries sustained on the job. Under worker’s compensation laws, an injured worker can expect coverage for medical expenses pertaining to the injury, vocational rehabilitation, and missed wages. In the event that the injury led to a worker’s death, workers’ compensation insurance would cover funeral costs.
If you work in the United States, employers are required to post rules around the workplace that lay out the process of what to do in the event of an injury. You may encounter your first red flag with an employee if you cannot find these posted laws at your workplace.
What To Do If You Are injured
If you sustain injuries on the job, the most critical thing that you should do is file a claim for your injury or illness. It is your right to file a claim, and in most cases, your employer can help you do so after you have reported the injury. Reporting the incident also helps with proper documentation for you and your employer
Your employer should provide you with a DWC-1 form to document the accident that caused the injury. The form is straightforward and is designed to find out the basic information regarding the incident:
- Date and time of the injury
- Where did the injury occur?
- How did the injury happen?
- What are your symptoms?
But what if your employer is making things more difficult for you by not following proper protocols? Or even worse, what if your employer refuses to file the workers’ comp claim? If this is the case, you should still keep a record of the above information (for your own records). If your employer is still not being cooperative, there are a few different options available, but the first would be to arm yourself with as much information as possible. You can also exercise your right to legal representation.
One thing to remember is that even if your employer doesn’t provide you with a claim form, you can download one from your state and fill it out yourself. Workers Comp laws are complex but at the end of the day, they are in place to protect you. If your employer is refusing to provide you with the proper information regarding an injury or filing a claim, you should contact a workers comp attorney.
Why Would An Employer Refuse To File a Claim?
Although the workers’ comp laws are designed to protect both employees and employers, employers may refuse to file a claim. If your employer believes that they have a valid defense against your claim, they may not file the claim. For example, if your injury did not require medical attention or time off, they might see it as “pointless” to file the claim. Just because an employer feels like they have a legitimate reason not to file the claim, does not mean that they do not have to report the claim. If your employer is refusing to file your claim, you should consult an attorney who is experienced with workers compensation laws in your state.
Workplace injuries are something that no one plans for, however, being prepared and knowing your rights can help your case if your employer refuses to file a workers comp claim. If you have sustained injuries in a workplace accident, consider consulting with an attorney to help you file your claim. Hurt Get Help has the network you need to find legal help…fast. Submit a claim, and we can connect you with a licensed and experienced workers comp attorney in New Jersey or Pennsylvania.