Some of our readers may know a bit about the workers' compensation program. In general, state law mandates that employers must pay for medical treatment and a portion of lost wages for employees who are injured on the job. There are, of course, exceptions, most notably if the injury occurred when the employee was not technically "on the job," or if the employee was under the influence of alcohol or drugs at the time of the accident. Barring those limited exceptions, in general it does not matter how the work injury occurred.
But, what our readers may not know is that what they may think is a simple form to fill out and file can become quite complicated at times. In some cases, employers may dispute the underlying facts of the workers' compensation claim being made by the employee. Or, if there is no dispute over how the accident occurred, perhaps an employer will dispute some of the medical expenses that the employee accumulates throughout the course of treatment for a work-related illness or on-the-job injury. These are just a few examples of the problems that can pop up unexpectedly.
While employers have certain obligations they must meet under workers' compensation laws, employees have obligations as well. There are obligations on when and how an employee must notify an employer about a workplace injury. Employees are also under an obligation to report unsafe working conditions so that the employer can correct the problem.
At our law firm, we do our best to work with clients who are going through the legal process of filing for workers' compensation benefits. We know that some of the process and procedure can be unfamiliar to our clients, and we work with them in order to help them understand their options. For more information, please visit the workers' compensation section of our website.