If you have a job in Duluth, you’ve probably been covered by workers compensation insurance since the day you started work. Workers compensation can cover workers in all industries and occupations, from the lowest paid hourly employee to a company’s top executives.
Despite this broad coverage, workers compensation insurance companies don’t like to pay out claims. Insurance companies want to be profitable, so they will try to settle your claim for as little as possible. To do this, they may try to minimize your injuries, dispute how you were hurt, or even send you to a doctor who won’t give you an accurate diagnosis. These tactics leave workers without their legally guaranteed benefits. If you or someone you care about has been injured on the job, contact a Duluth workers compensation lawyer right away.
At John Foy & Associates, we have a 20-year history of helping injured workers recover money in workers compensation claims. We know how to get insurance companies to pay, and we’d like to show you what we can do for you. We’ll give you a free consultation to talk about your claim and explain how the system works. Call us at 404-400-4000 and get your free consultation today.
What is workers compensation?
The government established workers compensation, also known as “workers comp,” to protect people who are injured at their workplace. The program has two purposes:
- To provide injured workers with medical treatment and financial support
- To avoid lawsuits, which can be both slow and costly
To ensure these worker protections, every employer must have a workers compensation insurance policy. If you are injured on the job, your employer’s insurance policy pays for your treatment.
Two important points to remember about workers compensation insurance are:
- Workers comp payments are not a free handout. Employers mostly pay for these policies trough deductions from employee’s paychecks. You paid for coverage and you are entitled to use it.
- Workers comp covers any workplace injury. It does not matter whether it was related to your job duties.
How much money can I recover in a workers comp claim?
Workers comp covers ALL of the costs of your injury, but the exact amount you may receive will depend on your individual situation. Your benefits might include:
- Medical expenses
- The cost of medications prescribed by a doctor
- Vocational training, so you can return to work
- Reimbursement for the cost of driving to medical appointments
- A paycheck during the time you are out of work. The check will usually be smaller than your normal paycheck, but it is not taxed.
Additional money is available if your injury was severe or it leads to a long-term disability. If you are a close family member of a worker who lost his or her life on the job, you are eligible for other benefits. Of course, money can’t replace a loved one or restore your health, but we have found that it can go a long way toward easing stress for injured workers and their families.
What kinds of injuries are covered by workers comp?
Workers compensation applies to ANY injury that occurs at your workplace.
- It does not matter who or what caused the injury.
- It does not matter how the injury happened.
- It does not matter if the injury was directly related to your job duties. Slipping on the break room floor is covered just the same as being injured while operating a machine.
- You do not have to blame your employer or argue about who is at fault.
We see a frequent workers compensation claims among construction workers. These injuries include falls, injuries from being hit by debris or equipment, equipment-related injuries, and electrical shocks. But you don’t have to work in a dangerous environment to have a workers compensation claim. We handle claims from all kinds of industries, from office workers to restaurant staff.
What injuries are NOT covered by workers compensation?
The key feature of workers compensation is that it covers workplace injuries. So if your injury did not happen at your place of employment, it usually is not covered. The law recognizes, however, that you can be working even if you are not at your usual job site, and so there are numerous instances where you may still be covered if you are injured while off your employer’s premises. For example, you may be covered if:
- You were on a business trip
- You were driving a company vehicle
- You were running an errand for your employer
- You were attending an off-site work meeting
- You were working remotely
Your injures will, however, usually NOT be covered if they happen while you are commuting to or from work. Once you have arrived at your job, you may be covered if you are injured on your employer’s parking lot or sidewalk.
Will workers comp pay for mental health treatment?
Yes, in some cases. The general rule is that workers comp will only cover mental or psychological conditions if there is also a physical injury. For example, if you are burned in an explosion and also suffer emotional trauma, your psychological treatment will probably be covered. But if you have trauma from witnessing an explosion that injured other people, workers compensation will typically not cover your emotional injuries.
Will I have to sue my employer?
No. One of the purposes of workers compensation is to avoid lawsuits between employees and their employers. In the City of Duluth, you cannot sue your employer for a workplace injury. This protects workers in several ways:
- Lawsuits can drag on for months or even years, and you need compensation more quickly than that.
- It is hard to predict how a lawsuit will turn out, and you should not have to live with the stress and uncertainty.
- Workers compensation avoids confrontation with your employer because workers comp claims are handled by an insurance company.
Many of the injured workers we talk to are afraid to make a claim against their employer. They worry that their employer will be upset with them, and may even take action against them. But we have found that most employers are happy that there is a way to help their employees pay for good treatment and get back on their feet. It’s the insurance companies that drag their feet and don’t want to pay the claim. To get the money you deserve, it’s important to have a good lawyer on your case.
Talk to a Duluth Workers Compensation Lawyer for Free
If you were injured on the job, you are entitled to recover money to pay for your loss. At John Foy & Associates, we know how to get you the money you need, and we’ll give you a free consultation to explain what we can do for you. Call us at 404-400-4000 or fill out the form to your right and get your FREE consultation today.