Workers' compensation laws differ widely from state to state. The rights of an injured worker vary widely as well, as do the various legal procedures that assure those rights.
Usually, however, there are plenty of legal rights that are standard across most states:
1. You have the right to file a claim for your injury or illness in workers compensation court or the state industrial court
2. You have the legal right to see a doctor and to get medical treatment
if you are released back to work by your physician, you have the right to return to your job
3. If you are not able to go back to work because of your injury or illness, whether permanently or even temporarily, you have the right to some type of disability compensation
4. If you dont agree with any decision by your employer, the employer’s insurance company, or the workers' compensation court, you usually have the right to appeal that decision.
5. You have the right to be represented by a lawyer throughout the process.
In knowing your rights to act, as an employee, it is just as important to understand you have the legal right to refuse certain requests/offers. This, in summary, means that you have the right to say, “no.”
And if your boss proposes some kind of incentive in an effort to persuade you against filling out a workers compensation claim, this is against the law. You have every right to say, “no.”
The laws in each state present that you can proceed in a workers' compensation claim without fear or harassment from your company or employer. If your employer makes it challenging for you to exercise these rights smoothly, the penalties inflicted upon the employer can be quite harsh. It is against the law for your boss to harass you at work or contrarily make it tough for you to do your job if your filing of a workers compensation claim is the reason for that behavior.
What Are My Rights Against Parties Other Than My Employer?
Sometimes your on-the-job injury might have been produced by the neglect of a third party. Depending on the conditions, this other entity may be a manufacturer of a defective piece of machinery or maybe the operator of a delivery truck. If you are harmed while at work due to the carelessness of another individual, you could have the right to make a claim against that person (or entity). These are identified as “third-party claims.” Usually, these claims are not recorded in the workers' compensation world. Typically, they take the form of civil lawsuits and are filed in state courts or federal courts.
Civil lawsuits for "work-related injuries" can typically seek added personal injury damages that are not (recoverable) in a workers' compensation claim. For instance, the advantages you receive in a workers' compensation claim are intended to compensate you for your medical costs and lost earnings. You are typically not permitted to seek compensation for pain/suffering. In a third-party claim, you are ordinarily allowed to seek compensation for pain and suffering, which is in a category of "non-economic" damages.