Some employees are at a greater risk of sustaining injuries at work than others, however it’s possible for any employee to be injured in the workplace. Therefore, it’s important for every employee to understand the ins and outs of workers’ compensation. Learn more about workers’ comp by reading the answers to these frequently asked questions:
What is workers’ compensation?
Workers’ compensation is a type of insurance that protects employers in the event that an employee is injured while on the job. Instead of filing a lawsuit against their employers, these employees must apply for workers’ compensation benefits in order to recover compensation for their injuries.
What injuries does workers’ compensation cover?
Physical injuries that occur at work are covered by workers’ compensation. Some examples of physical injuries include repetitive motion injuries, injuries sustained in accidents, and exposure to toxic chemicals or heat.
Workers’ compensation also covers preexisting conditions that became worse due to the nature of the employee’s work. For example, an employee with a preexisting back condition may aggravate the injury by picking a heavy box up at work. In this case, even though the injury occurred outside of work, he would qualify for workers’ compensation benefits because the aggravation of the injury occurred in the workplace.
Can workers’ compensation benefits be denied?
Yes, injured workers must apply in order to start receiving benefits. The request for benefits may be denied if it is determined the injuries were self-inflicted or the employee was under the influence of drugs or alcohol at the time he was hurt. Benefits will also be denied if it is discovered that the employee was not at work when he suffered the injuries.
How will injured workers be compensated?
If your application for benefits is approved, you will be compensated for medical expenses and lost wages that you suffered as a result of your injuries. Workers who are permanently disabled may also receive additional compensation due to the severity of their injuries.
If you are unable to return to your job due to your injuries, workers’ compensation can also cover the costs of retraining and job placement. If a worker is killed while on the job, the victim’s family may qualify for compensation.
Are all employees covered?
Unfortunately, some employees do not qualify for workers’ compensation benefits in the state of Oklahoma, including real estate agents and independent contractors. Employees who work at a business with less than five employees, all of which are related to each other and the owner of the business by blood or marriage are also not covered. Agricultural and horticultural employees also do not qualify for these benefits if their employer had less than $100,000 in payroll for agricultural and horticultural workers in the last calendar year.
If you still have questions related to workers’ compensation or if you have been injured at work, contact Armstrong & Vaught, P.L.C. today. Our attorneys will be happy to help you understand your rights after an injury. Call us at 918-582-2500, or toll free at (800) 722-8880, or contact us online for a free consultation.