If you are injured while at work, one of the first places you might want to turn to is your employee handbook. This is a place where you may find useful information about how to file a claim and may also help you if you find yourself in a dispute with your employer.
The Handbook Should Instruct You to Report Your Injuries
You should report your injuries right away. This will create a record of your workplace injury and will also allow your employer to file a workers' compensation claim with their insurance provider.
Learn About How Your Benefits May Be Cut Off
There might be rules in place and failing to follow these rules could lead to your benefits being cut off. Your employer may include a list of prohibited conduct within the handbook. If this is the case, you will want to speak with your workers' compensation lawyer about whether these rules will hold up in court. For example, your employer is allowed to inform you that your workers' compensation benefits will be terminated if you commit fraud.
Read About When You Will Return to Work
The handbook will typically state that you will return to work when you are medically able to. The handbook will explain the policy for providing you with transitional work until you are able to return to work full-time.
How the Handbook Can Help You
If you are forced to go to trial to receive your workers' compensation benefits, the jury will be less likely to side with your employer if they are not following their own handbook because it may appear as if your employer is not treating employees in the same way.
The Responsibilities of Your Employer
After you are injured at work, your employer is responsible for giving you the appropriate information and guidance. They must file a claim with their insurer and follow all state laws related to workers' compensation. If you believe that your employer is not meeting their responsibilities, you should discuss this with a workers' compensation lawyer.
If it is not clear that you were injured at work or that your injuries are covered, the workers' compensation insurance provider might deny your claim. If this is the case, you will still be able to appeal your case and may eventually receive compensation for your injuries. You may also need to negotiate a settlement with the help of an attorney. Reach out to a workers' compensation lawyer to learn more.