Workers’ compensation is a type of insurance that ensures wages and medical benefits to any employees that happen to get injured in the workplace or during employment with a particular company. In order for the worker to receive this compensation, however, he or she must give up any rights that they have to sue the company or the employer for negligence. There are different types of workers’ compensation plans and if a claim is filed, it will likely involve a workers compensation law firm and possibly a personal injury attorney in order to mediate the claim and the charges. Claims can differ as well ranging from anything from bodily harm to emotional affliction to general pain and suffering damage. However, not many plans include the latter reasons. Each case is slightly different than the last, so finding a trusted lawyer who can offer legal advice if this is the situation that you find yourself in, is a good idea.
Workers compensation law firms enforce the common law obligations on to employers. There are specific things in place which actually protect the employer more than the employee. These laws include the following for employers:
- Ensure a safe workplace for employees
- Ensure safe work tools are available
- Provide adequate warning signs when danger is present.
- Provide assistance between co workers when needed.
- Enforce safe work place rules.
The reason for the above requirements is because common law also that if an employers adheres to the above statements the following is true:
- An employer will not be held liable if the injury was caused by a co worker or a peer.
- An employer will not be held liable if the injured employee failed to adhere to
- required precautions already set in place.
- An employer will not be held liable if the employee previously knew and accepted the possible risks that came with the job.
Workers compensation is not only to protect the worker, as you can see from the above statements regarding common law. Many employees mistakenly believe that no matter what happens, the law will be on their side. However, the law is very specific in making sure that a fair hearing takes place and then no one that is not at fault is held liable. If an employee is trying to get workers compensation for something that is not the employer’s fault, then the employer will be able to gather enough evidence, or the worker will not be able to gather enough evidence, to satisfy the laws of workers compensation. Workers must be very careful and truthful about any injury that happens in the workplace or there could actually be the opposite outcome for them than what they expected.
Pros and Cons of Workers’ Compensation
If you are working with a workers compensation law firm and considering the possibility of accepting a settlement, here are the pros and cons.
- Settlement amounts tend to be quite fair. If all your medical bills and costs and lost wages are covered, this may be the best deal you are going to get.
- You may be able to receive this sum quicker than you would another option, including if you wait for the workers’ compensation claim to go through.
- No stress of trial. Settlements are decided without the need to go to court.
- Trials do not always come out in your favor and pose some what of a risk if you turn down the settlement offered to you.
- You may end up needing more money further down the line that you were not aware of. Settlements are final and will not give you more once accepted. A trial will be drawn out longer and give you more of an idea how much your medical bills, etc. are going to cost you.
- There is no appealing a settlement but even if you lose at trial, you can appeal the outcome.
- A trial may end up offering you more money than a settlement did.
A workers compensation law firm will be able to help you make the right decision regarding whether to accept a settlement, go to trial or even file a workers compensation claim at all. There are many factors to consider before deciding whether or not to go through with something like this, so make sure that you take in account your legal team‘s advice before making any decisions.