Workers' Compensation injuries can happen virtually anywhere, and in
any work environment. If you work in a retail location, a factory, or
even a restaurant, you are probably well aware of just how many on-the-job
dangers you face on a daily basis. Slips, burns, machinery, falling objects,
and more can all hurt you without warning. If the hazards are so obvious
to you and your coworkers, they must be even clearer to your boss, right?
Why then do so many employers try to hide or entirely avoid
workers’ compensation claims made by their employees after an accident?
The reason in so many cases is the "bottom dollar." The more
injury reports that come from a place of employment, the higher their
insurance rates will be. If they can discourage or prevent an injured
employee from making a claim, they stand to save money in premiums for
workers' compensation insurance.
How Do Employers Try to Avoid a Claim?
Employers may rely on the fact that most people do not know the intricacies
of workers’ compensation law. By subtly refusing to provide the
appropriate information about making a claim, they can steer their employees
away from exercising their legal options.
Sometimes an employer will flat-out lie to its employees by saying that
they do not have the right to make a claim. The truth is that regardless
of what an employer says after you are injured, you may have the legal
option to pursue compensation with a professional’s help. If you
are told that you have no workers' compensation claim, or that you
cannot pursue one, it may be coercion and nothing more.
In other cases, an employer may deny that an injury happened on the job
when speaking to its workers' compensation insurance carrier or claims
adjuster. Faced with the employer denying that an injury happened, the
employer's insurance carrier will probably then deny the claim.
In still other cases, employees are fired after suffering an accident on
the jobsite. The employer’s mindset is that if that worker is no
longer an employee, that worker may think he or she cannot collect workers’
compensation benefits. This is not true; while the employer is free to
fire an employee for being injured on the job, the employer cannot escape
a workers' compensation claim by doing so. We have covered this in
more detail in a previous blog entry (“Can I Be Terminated for Being Injured on the Job?”).
What Can You Do to Protect Your Rights?
If you do not seek workers’ compensation after an on-the-job injury,
odds are that your condition will worsen and you will be unable to receive
the proper medical care. You need to file a claim as soon as you can with
our Atlanta workers’ compensation attorneys at Douglas F. Kaleita,
P.C. We understand that you might be close friends outside the workplace
with your employer, compelling you to avoid “getting them in trouble”
by filing a claim. When you work with us, we will approach the situation
compassionately and professionally so as to avoid stirring up animosity
between you and your employer or coworkers, while still respecting and
protecting your rights.
888.665.7699 today to learn more about what we can do for you and what compensation
might be available to you through a successful case.
Free consultations are available.