If you have been injured on the job, you may be entitled to certain benefits per workers’ compensation laws. Injuries that are usually covered by workers’ compensation include traumatic physical injuries, mental injuries, and occupational diseases. Workers’ compensation benefits can include payment of medical bills, compensation while you are unable to work, rehabilitation, and disability benefits.
If you are injured while at work or due to your work, you should notify your employer immediately, as deadlines vary from state to state, limiting your ability to receive benefits. The U.S. Division of Federal Employees’ Compensation (DFEC) provides resources for each state’s workers’ compensation officials. Upon seeking medical treatment, you should be sure to inform the doctor(s) that your injury is in connection with your job.
Injuries that occur due to an employee being intoxicated, under the influence of drugs, violating company policy, or committing a serious crime are generally not covered by workers’ compensation benefits. Additionally, general damage for pain and suffering or punitive damages due to employer negligence are usually not available as part of workers’ compensation benefits. The United States Department of Labor provides a wealth of information on workers’ compensation. If you receive worker’s compensation following a work-related injury, you cannot then sue your employer for additional compensation. Certain government employees are covered under the Federal Employees’ Compensation Act and the Energy Employees Occupational Illness Compensation Program (EEOICP) covers U.S. Department of energy employees and contractors.
Workers’ compensation cases can be quite difficult as they often put an employee in a place where they are in a dispute with their employer. This dispute process can involve complex legal rules and procedures and you are at a disadvantage if you do not retain an attorney to represent your interests. For these reasons and because each injury and workplace is different, it is in your best interest to obtain the assistance of an attorney who is experienced with workers compensation legal services.