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Employees' Rights: Claims After You Got Injured At Work

All employers have the responsibility to keep their employees safe from any kind of work injury. Employees have the right to injury compensation, whether as a permanent worker or temporary staff.

Accidents in the workplace can cause stress and anxiety to the employer and employee. It can be difficult for both parties. Thus, it is vital to understand the correct approach in claiming compensation to maintain a good relationship with the employer.

Why You Should Claim Compensation

Claiming personal injury compensation or workers’ compensation will help in easing the monetary, practical, and emotional burden after the incident. You should understand that it is your right as an employee to get claims for the injury that you might encounter during work hours.

Getting injury claims will compensate for the injuries you incurred while working. It will also help in your medication and rehabilitation fees to hasten your recovery. Also, getting injury claims will help you recover your lost income due to the injury.

Responsibilities of Employers

Under the Worker’s Compensation Law, employers have several responsibilities when there occurs work-related diseases and injuries. These responsibilities include administering first aid, transporting to a healthcare facility, reporting to the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB), continuing employment benefits, and letting the employee return to his previous work before the injury, or equivalent.

The Occupational Safety and Health Act provides that employers have the responsibility to provide the employees with safe workspaces. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) further provides for standards for workplace expectations in different industries.

The Compensation system avoids litigation in favor of the employer. If the injury is not processed within the system, then the employee can file a lawsuit and prove that the employer should be responsible for the injury. Filing a lawsuit can result in delays and can leave one party with nothing.

However, employees are barred to file lawsuits for negligence against the employer or their co-workers. Filing a lawsuit can only result in lesser compensation than in getting a claim for work-related injury under the system. Employees should also be mindful of the time limits as to when to file a claim. States have different time limits. The usual deadline is 2 years.

There are things to consider before a claim can be work-related. Although the injury happened in the workspace, it may not be sufficient to get injury claims. An example would be an injury during lunch time, unless it happened in the company cafeteria or involves an employer. Another example is when alcohol contributed to the injury.

Workers’ Compensation vs. Personal Injury Claims

In filing for an injury claim, you will be asked whether you want to claim workers' compensation or personal injury claim. You should know that the systems under workers' compensation and personal injury claims are different.

Under workers’ compensation, any employee is entitled to claims if injured on the job. This system requires no-fault. You do not have to prove any fault on the part of the employer or a co-worker. Even if you are negligent, your negligence will not be counted for the compensation you might receive.

However, the benefits you can recover are limited. You cannot claim for pain and suffering compensation under this system, unlike in personal injury claims. The compensation you can get is listed under the law or the contract signed with the employer. The only compensation you may receive is weekly compensation, medical bills, permanent impairment benefits, and vocational rehabilitation.

Personal Injury claims, on the other hand, can provide full compensation if you can prove that there is fault on the part of the employer or your co-worker. You are entitled to all the damages you suffered under personal injury claims. These claims include lost earnings, medical bills, lost earning capacity, future medical expenses, and permanent impairment.

The biggest difference between workers' compensation and personal injury claims is the inclusion of pain and suffering damages. In the 20th century, employees can only claim for damages if the employer is negligent. But now, you can claim even if there is no proof of negligence on the employer’s part. The concept of workers' compensation is a trade-off between the employer and the laborer.

Claims Around the World

Australia

In Australia, all companies who employ laborers are required to have workers compensation insurance. The insurance shall be available to part-time, full-time, and casual workers.

Any employee who suffers work-related may claim weekly benefits, hospital expenses, rehabilitation services, and lump-sum claims for permanent disability. Those who are not given claims by their employees may file a lawsuit and seek legal assistance, such as the assistance offered by Soul Legal.

UK

In the UK, workers may still get a work accident claim even if there is fault on the part of the claiming employee if it can be seen that the employer is deemed an instigator of the injury. The valid bases for work accident claims are dangerous practices and procedures in the workplace, slip, trip, fall, dangerous machinery, falling object, assault at work, and negligence of co-workers.

The UK has a standard time limit of 3 years to file a work accident claim. If the claiming employee fails to file a claim within 3 years, then he or she is deemed barred to file any claim. In fatal cases, the 3 years is counted from the time of death of the employee.

Canada

Any employee who suffers work-related injuries in Canada may claim for medical care,  loss of earnings, and other benefits under the law and contract. All employees of the federal government and the private sector are covered by injury compensation.

The injury must be reported within 6 months to the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB). If 6 months have already passed, the employee must explain why he or she did not file the claim earlier.

Takeaway

Employees should always be aware of their rights, especially when they get injured during work hours in the workspace. Coordinate with your employer for your work-related injury claim. If such is not successful, do not hesitate to seek legal advice from a lawyer. 


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