If you work in the United States and are injured on the job, whether from broken bones or an occupational disease, you are entitled to receive compensation for your medical bills and lost wages. Each state has a workers’ compensation act that lists the types of injuries that are covered in the workplace. The U.S. Department of Labor has an Office of Workers’ Compensation Programs that covers medical treatments, wage replacement, and occupational rehabilitation. Other specific groups are also covered, such as the Black Lung Program, which compensates disabled coal miners, and the Division of Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation, which takes care of maritime workers.
Types of Coverage
U.S. workers are generally covered on the job for any injury or illness that is the result of poisoning from arsenic, lead, mercury, radium , or anthrax after working with live or dead animals. Exposure to asbestos, tuberculosis, or hepatitis is also covered, as are skin infections that result from working with oils, gases, dust, or certain liquids. You will be covered if you suffer heart or lung disease acquired after fire-fighting exposure over long periods.
Several U.S. states have so-called “no-fault” coverage. That means you are entitled to compensation if you are injured on the job regardless of who was at fault, whether it was your employer or you. You must, however, be able to prove that the injury or disease was the result of your workplace.
Steps for Compensation
If you are injured on the job or you acquire a disease that results from your workplace, your first step for compensation is to file a claim with your employer. You will be examined by the company doctor, if there is one, or your own doctor. The report then goes to the Labor Commission and the insurance carrier. If all goes without a problem, you will receive your due compensation in the designated time.
However, it should come as no surprise that problems do occur in such cases. According to Kitchen Simeson Belliveau LLP., the best way to get the desired outcome in a workers’ comp case is to contact an injury lawyer who is experienced in the laws that govern compensation for workplace injuries. This is a good idea in any case, but especially if you have even the slightest suspicion that that your claim may be challenged.
If your injury is the result of your workplace, you deserve compensation. Contact an experienced injury attorney who can help to make sure that you get it.
This article is from Lizzie Weakley, a freelance writer from Columbus, Ohio. She went to college at The Ohio State University where she studied communications. She enjoys the outdoors and long walks in the park with her three-year-old husky Snowball.