While most people have heard of workers’ compensation, many frequently misunderstand it. If you’ve been injured at work, you may wonder what’s next. Understanding your rights will help you navigate workers’ compensation and maximize your chance of recovery.
In this article, we’ll break down some of the most common workers’ compensation myths from a lawyer’s perspective.
Myth #1: You’ll only qualify for workers’ compensation if your job is dangerous.
While people in hazardous jobs are more likely to be injured, all occupations qualify for workers’ compensation insurance. Even fully remote desk jobs can cause injuries such as carpal tunnel or back strain from poor ergonomics.
Myth #2: You can only receive benefits if you are severely injured.
Myth #3: Workers’ compensation is only for accidents that occur in the workplace.
Workers’ compensation covers all injuries related to work activity. Offsite scenarios that could cause a work injury include business trips, travel, events, and more. If the injury happened during a work-related activity, it can qualify as a work injury.
Myth #4: Part-time or seasonal employees cannot receive workers’ compensation.
Any injured worker can file for workers’ compensation. Full-time, part-time, seasonal, and temporary workers can receive benefits if the injury occurred during employment.
Independent contractors may be eligible for workers’ compensation depending on the state’s laws and employment conditions.
Myth #5: You won’t get workers’ compensation benefits if the accident was your fault.
You can still qualify for workers’ compensation if the accident was your fault. Because workers’ comp is a no-fault system, injured employees can usually qualify for benefits regardless of who caused the accident.
Myth #6: If you file a workers’ compensation claim, you must sue your employer.
Filing a workers’ comp claim is not the same as suing your employer. In Indiana, it is illegal for employees to sue their employer for workplace injuries.
Myth #7: Workers’ compensation will cover your pain and suffering.
Workers’ compensation covers medical expenses and lost wages, but it does not cover pain and suffering.
Myth #8: If you have a pre-existing condition, you cannot qualify for workers’ compensation.
People with pre-existing conditions can qualify for workers comp’ if there is proof that the job exacerbated the condition.
Myth #9: If you file a workers’ compensation claim, you’ll lose your job.
It is illegal for your employer to terminate you in retaliation for filing a workers’ comp claim. Consult a lawyer if you believe your employer wrongfully terminated you after filing a claim.
Myth #10: I can’t file a workers’ compensation claim because I didn’t report the accident right away.
Employers and insurance companies sometimes tell injured workers that they cannot file a claim because they didn’t report their injury within 30 days. While you should report your injury as soon as you can, you have two years from the date of your injury to file a workers’ compensation claim. You can file a claim at any time during the two-year window.
Myth #11: To get workers’ compensation benefits, you must endure a lengthy litigation process.
Most workers’ compensation claims do not require extensive litigation. Workers’ comp insurance aims to provide injured employees with benefits quickly and efficiently. However, some claims are complex or wrongfully denied by employers and require a lawyer’s help.
How We Help
Assumptions and misconceptions about workers’ compensation often discourage injured workers from pursuing benefits, even if they may qualify for total payment. If you’ve been injured at work, Golitko & Daly’s experienced workers’ compensation lawyers can help you get the compensation you deserve.
To schedule a free consultation, call us at 317-566-9600 (Indianapolis), 765-865-9300 (Bloomington), or 812-566-2600 (Kokomo), or complete our online inquiry form to meet* with one of our health professional attorneys to review your case.