More than 25% of workers’ compensation claims do not make it past the first round. According to industry experts, most first-round denials are usually baseless and are the insurer’s way of demoralizing the claimant. Additionally, there are a lot of workers’ comp misconceptions that can make you miss out on your rightful compensation. Myths surrounding workers’ comp in Sarasota, FL include:
Myth #1: Your Employer Will Help You Get the Maximum Benefits
In a workers’ compensation claim process, the employer’s role is largely limited to writing a report detailing the injury and providing supporting documents to help in the claim process. You, on the other hand, are responsible for reporting the injury and filing a claim. Therefore, your employer will likely not help you maximize your benefits.
Myth #2: You Need to be Working at the Time of the Injury
Given insurers only reimburse workers’ comp benefits for work-related injuries, there’s a notion that you must actually be doing your job when your injury occurs to qualify for benefits. Contrarily, any injury that occurs within the work environment can qualify for compensation. For instance, if you were rushing to the company’s parking lot to pick your lunchbox from your car when you slipped and fell down the stairs, breaking your arm, you will likely qualify for workers’ comp benefits.
Myth #3: Workers’ Comp Doesn’t Cover Repetitive Stress/Strain Injuries
Before the insurance company accepts a workers’ compensation claim, you have to prove that the injury was actually work-related. Since it can be difficult to link repetitive stress and strain injuries to work activities, there’s a workers’ comp myth that such injuries don’t qualify for compensation. However, any kind of injury or illness can qualify for workers’ comp benefits provided it is work-related. For instance, if you experience severe backaches from sitting at your desk for long hours, you can receive workers’ compensation benefits if you can successfully link your condition to your job.
Myth #4: You Could Be Laid off for Filing a Workers’ Compensation Claim
All states, except Texas, mandate every employer to carry workers’ comp insurance for their employees. Therefore, it is every employee’s right to file a worker’s comp claim in case they get injured at work. Unless you’re guilty of professional misconduct, your employer cannot fire you for filing a workers’ comp claim.
Myth #5: You Need to Be at Your Work Place When You Get Injured
Traffic accidents are the leading cause of work-related injuries in the U.S., contributing to a substantial number of workers’ compensation claims. However, it is worth noting that your injury doesn’t have to happen at the workplace to be eligible for workers’ comp benefits. For instance, if you get injured in a car crash while running a business errand, you can file a workers’ comp claim.
Myth #6: Workers’ Compensation Is All You Have
Typically, accepting workers’ comp coverage means you agree to waive your right to sue your employer for work-related injury or illness. However, workers’ comp is not your only option. If you suffer a workplace injury due to your employer’s or even another party’s negligence, you can file a personal injury lawsuit against the responsible party.
Myth #7: Workers’ Compensation Covers All Your Job-related Injuries
Worker’s compensation insurance only covers a portion, usually 66%, of your lost wages as well as medical expenses. Therefore, you need to have an alternate avenue of funding your expenses when you sustain a work-related injury.