Workers' compensation is a form of insurance that pays benefits to employees for work-related injuries or illnesses. The insurance premiums are paid by the worker's employer and are provided at no cost to the employee. When the worker is hurt or ill due to a work issue, a claim form is submitted and the benefits should begin. Unfortunately, things don't always go according to plan. Circumstances can get even worse for employees that are no longer working for the same employer when they file. Read on to find out more about this unusual and troubling situation for hurt workers.
Coverage for Workers
Current workers can file by informing their direct supervisor and making sure a claim form is filed. To be covered, you have to have been employed at the time of the accident or when affected by an occupational illness. Workers are expected to file promptly. When time is allowed to pass between the qualifying event and the filing of the claim, questions can arise about the validity of the claim.
Proof of the Injury or Illness
Claims need to be backed up when submitted and some claims are denied due to lack of evidence. The usual way hurt workers get evidence is by getting co-workers to provide statements, use of video footage, corroboration from supervisors and other management, and more. Unfortunately, if you left your job on your own or were fired, you may have more of a challenge accessing those forms of valuable proof. If your claim has been denied due to lack of proof and you are no longer employed, you may need the help of a workers' comp lawyer. This lawyer can act on your behalf to secure the evidence you need to prove your claim.
When Injury is Discovered Later
Unfortunately, not all injuries or illnesses have obvious roots. Some workers won't find out until later that they were exposed to toxic substances at work. Also, a worker might not realize until later that a slow-acting stress or strain injury caused by work has damaged them. For example, carpal tunnel syndrome may take some time to show symptoms and you might only notice a problem after you stop working. No matter what the cause or the time since the injury, you may be eligible for benefits. Speak to a workers' comp lawyer who can make sure you are paid medical expenses, partial wages, and a lump sum payment for your illness or injury. Likewise, a workers' compensation lawyer can provide additional information.