Nobody wants to be in a situation where they are unable to do their job. This is exactly what many people face, however, and what motivates them to file workers' compensation claims. According to Employers.com, as many as three million nonfatal workplace accidents can occur in a single year, and these injuries are often serious enough to necessitate medical treatment and time away from work.
If you have experienced such an accident, you might be wondering what to expect from your workers' compensation claim. Hiring an attorney may help you navigate the process and avoid costly errors. In the meantime, however, you can start by learning about some of the most common misconceptions.
1. You cannot be fired after filing
Many people mistakenly assume that their employer cannot fire them after they file a workers' comp claim. On the contrary, employers are typically within their rights to release any worker who can no longer perform the essential job duties associated with their position. Though they cannot fire you directly in response to your claim, they can terminate you based on inability to continue the job.
2. It covers pain and suffering
You might also be under the impression that a workers' comp claim will cover pain and suffering that resulted from the accident. Unfortunately, this is not true. You can only recover compensation for the pain and suffering you experienced through filing a third party claim. Doing so, however, can have beneficial results.
3. At-fault injuries are not eligible
Sometimes workplace accidents are due to an employer's negligence, but in other cases, they are the result of an error made on the part of the worker. Workers who suffer injuries because of their own mistake might think they cannot collect workers' compensation, but on the contrary, employees are only ineligible if they intentionally harmed themselves or others or if they are under the influence of drugs or alcohol.