Just about everyone has heard the term “workers’ compensation” and the vast majority of people have a basic understanding of what it is, but do you really understand how workers’ compensation works and what it does to protect you on the job? In this article, we will go through the basics of workers’ compensation and show you why it is there and what it does for you if you are ever hurt at work.
Basic Workers’ Compensation Overview
Let’s start with a basic run down of what workers’ compensation is and what it does for you. The workers’ compensation system is in place to compensation any employee (private or government) when they are hurt at work. Every state has their own laws and regulations that govern how workers’ compensation claims are handled; there is no blanket federal law that governs this area.
However, all of the workers’ compensation laws are based on strict liability only, which means that proving an employer’s fault or even negligence in the incident is not an issue. Who is at fault or caused the injury, the employer or the employee, is generally not an issue. Either way, the employee is generally compensated for lost wages, medical bills, and other types of losses that revolve around being hurt at work.
The injury or illness that a workers’ compensation claim is filed on has to have occurred at work during the time when the employee was on the clock for it to be covered. Of course, this is subject to certain exceptions, such as performing an errand for your employer while traveling to or from work.
Do You Get Punitive Damages?
Most people ask about punitive damages with workers’ compensation cases and unfortunately the answer is no. Punitive damages are not something that your attorney can file for if you are filing a workers’ compensation case in any state. While this may sound like a negative aspect, it works in an employees’ favor as well, as it means that the defenses normally available to the defendant in a civil suit are not allowed in either – which means that your employer cannot use the defense that if an employee caused their own injury the employer does not have to pay. It does also mean that an employee cannot sue for negligence instead of filing their claim with workers’ compensation.
Workers’ Compensation Insurance
While workers’ compensation is a system set in place to ensure that injured employees are taken care of, it is also a type of insurance that employers have to carry. Workers’ compensation insurance is required by the State of Oklahoma for the majority of businesses, but there are some specific exemptions to this regulation, which the attorneys at Armstrong & Vaught can explain to you. For example, independent contractors are usually not entitled to a workers’ compensation insurance claim because they are their own small business and not an employee of the business they are contracting for.
What Happens When You File A Claim?
When an employee files a workers’ compensation claim, there will be steps that your attorney has to take on your behalf with the administrative system. There are time limits on some of these claims and proceedings, so you need to keep in contact with your attorney to be sure that you do not miss anything vital to your case.
With any type of workers’ compensation case, you want to have an experienced workers’ compensation attorney in Tulsa, OK on your side. No matter your injury or illness, the experienced attorneys at Armstrong & Vaught can help you with your workers’ compensation case. Call today for a free consultation to ensure that you are following the rules and regulations in Oklahoma for your work related injury: 918-582-2500.
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Articles on A-Vlaw.com are not intended to take the place of professional legal advice. If you need legal advice, please contact our offices for a free consultation at (918) 582 – 2500.