Even when an employer provides a reasonably safe and healthy environment for employees, it is still possible to be injured or to develop a harmful condition due to performing job duties. However, to protect employees, every state has a system that assists employees when they suffer from work-related injuries and illnesses. If you are unsure of what your rights are in the event of sustaining an injury on the job, continue reading to find out.
Protecting Your Rights
To protect your right to crucial workers’ compensation benefits, one of the first things you must do is report the injury to your employer on either the same day, if possible, or the first few days within the incident. For particularly severe injuries, it is not always feasible to report them the day they happen, but you must try to do so as quickly as possible or you will lose your chance to file a claim at all.
As an injured worker, you have several legal rights, which include:
- Injured workers have the right to file a claim for their injuries or illness in workers’ compensation court or in the state industrial court
- Injured workers have the right to be seen by a physician and to pursue necessary medical treatment
- If an injured worker’s physician allows you to return to work, you have the right to resume your job duties
- If an injured worker cannot return to work as a result of his or her injuries or illness, regardless if it is permanent or temporary, that worker has the right to disability compensation
- If an injured worker disagrees with a decision of his or her employer, the employer’s insurance company, or workers’ compensation court, he or she often has the right to appeal it
- All injured workers have the right to be represented by a workers’ compensation attorney throughout the claims process
Furthermore, as an injured worker, you have the right to refuse certain requests or offers. If your employer were to encourage you to use your own health insurance to cover your medical treatment, it is your right to decline this request. If your employer attempts to offer you an incentive to convince you not to file a workers’ compensation claim, this is illegal. Remember, the laws in every state allow injured workers to pursue workers’ compensation benefits without the fear of retaliation or harassment from an employer, so if your employer attempts to make it difficult for you to exercise your rights, penalties can be imposed for this illegal behavior.
Workers’ Compensation in Sacramento
If you were injured on the job, it is critical to hire a workers’ compensation attorney as soon as possible to ensure your right to vital workers’ compensation benefits is protected. At Smolich & Smolich, our Sacramento legal team is dedicated to guiding injured workers throughout the claims process no matter what stage they are in or if their claim has been denied or delayed.
For the skilled representation you deserve, call our office today at (888) 452-0703 to schedule your free initial consultation with a knowledgeable member of our legal team.