Workers’ compensation is an important employment benefit for workers across the country. Yet that does not mean that it is an easily understood topic. Many people would admit that they feel left in the dark about workers’ compensation because their employers and HR departments never bother to tell them the ins and outs. It is no surprise that there are many misconceptions about workers’ comp. We hope we can clear up some of them for you here.
Five of the most common misconceptions about workers’ compensation are:
- You need to see a company-chosen doctor: In some states, you will be sent to an in-network medical provider after an on-the-job accident. You might also only be able to get continued medical care from a medical provider that the insurance company has approved. But this is not the case in all states and incidents. Some states allow you to pre-name the doctor of your choice to see you first after an accident. In others, you can switch to a doctor of your choice after receiving initial medical treatments. Don’t assume you can only see a company-selected doctor, even if you are told as much.
- You don’t get coverage if you were hurt away from your workplace: Workers’ compensation covers work-related accidents, regardless of where they happen. As long as you were performing a duty in the scope of your employment when you were injured, you should be able to file for workers’ compensation. Whether you were in your office or driving to the store down the street to pick up printer ink for your boss, for example, you can file for workers’ comp if you’re in an accident.
- You only get workers’ comp if you are full-time: Employers must provide workers’ compensation to qualifying employees, who will not only be full-time. Part-time and seasonal workers must be included in workers’ compensation insurance policies in most cases. In rare situations, even independent contractors can be given workers’ comp, such as construction workers who are employed to complete specific tasks on a jobsite in some states.
- You can get fired if you file a claim: Your employer cannot retaliate against you for any reason, such as for filing a workers’ compensation claim. Workplace retaliation is unlawful, and you can sue your employer for employment law violations if they fire or otherwise punish you because you needed workers’ comp.
- You can put your employer’s company in danger if you file: Were you told by your employer that they could go under if you file a workers’ compensation claim because they won’t be able to afford their monthly premiums? Not only is such a statement unfairly manipulative, but it might also be unlawful. You deserve workers’ comp to help you recover from your injuries. Whether your claim increases your employer’s monthly premiums is between them and their insurer. There is also no guarantee that their premiums will go up just because of one filing.
If you have more questions about workers’ compensation and common misconceptions about it, then reach out to Alvandi Law Group, P.C. We assist injured workers throughout Orange County, California. Contact us now to arrange a free initial consultation.