Most people don't seriously think about workers' compensation until an accident has occurred and they're interested in seeking benefits. This is only natural, but has also led to several popular misconceptions about how the program actually works, who's eligible, and what can be done to secure relief after a workplace accident. Below, we take a look at five of these most common misconceptions.
"My Employer Doesn't Offer Workers' Comp"
In the state of California, all employers are required to carry workers' compensation, period. So, if you are a full-time employee of a California business, you are legally required to have access to workers' compensation.
"My Injury Wasn't My Employer's Fault, so I'm Ineligible"
Workers' compensation isn't about an employer making amends to an employee that was hurt, it's about giving workers access to benefits because they were exposed to potentially harmful conditions. Even if your employer is not directly responsible for your injury, you are still likely eligible to apply for benefits.
"I Wasn't Hurt on My Employer's Property, so I'm Ineligible"
Many accidents that occur outside the grounds of a workplace can still be covered by workers' compensation insurance. A plumber who is on the way to a client's house and is injured on the road, for example, may be eligible for benefits. As long as the employee is in the process of carrying out their professional duties when hurt, they may have access to benefits.
"Most Workers' Compensation Claims Are Faked to Recover Free Benefits"
There is somewhat of a stigma surrounding workers' compensation claims and a belief that those that file are somehow trying to game the system. That belief, however, is unfounded. Many who file for workers' compensation benefits have suffered serious, even life-altering injuries. A PBS investigative report from 2000 found that only one to two percent of workers' comp claims nationwide turn out to be fraudulent.
"My Employer Will Be Mad If I File for Benefits, So I'd Rather Not"
How your employer feels about you filing for workers' compensation benefits is irrelevant when you are in need of benefits after a serious accident. These insurance policies are put in place to care for workers when they are hurt and, if an employer does in some way impede a claim or later retaliate against an injured worker, they can be held legally responsible for doing so.
Have you suffered an injury at work and are unsure about your workers' compensation options? If so, then we invite you to contact us at the Law Offices of Wax & Wax. Our experienced and award-winning Glendale workers' compensation lawyers can help you review your workers' compensation eligibility and, if necessary, navigate and assert your claim.
You do not have to face this complicated process alone. Contact us today for assistance.