What are Your Legal Rights if You Get Hurt at Work?

If you get hurt at work, you have certain legal rights that are unassailable. After all, getting injured while working can have multiple effects on your life. Some of the effects could be financial consequences, pain, suffering, and potential trauma.

It is essential for you to assert your legal rights and collect appropriate worker’s compensation. By doing so, you can take the first steps towards full recovery. If you’ve ever thought to yourself, what your legal rights are if you get hurt at work, you should keep on reading.

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1. The right to seek medical care

If you’ve suffered a work-related injury, you have the right to obtain proper medical care. It’s important to note that your employer may not force you to keep working after being injured. Neither can your employer prevent you from seeking medical care.

In some states, employers are permitted to tell you to go to a designated medical provider to treat your injury. However, you have every right to seek emergency medical treatment at a hospital of your choice.

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2. The right to collect worker’s compensation

Worker’s compensation is a benefit mandated by the US government that allows you to collect compensation if you are an employee who’s suffered an injury while working and cannot work as a result of this injury.

Even though there is a federally administered worker’s compensation program, many individuals initially file a worker’s compensation claim with their state to collect benefits.

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How much money you receive depends on the state, and each case is different. An employee injured while working may be able to collect appropriate worker’s compensation benefits regardless of who was responsible for the injury.  Most people do not know where to start with the compensation process and end up with unfair compensation. Hence it is vital for you to get in touch with a qualified law firm such as Wyatt Law Firm to guide you at every step of the claim process.

3. The right to file other claims for compensation

Whether you are eligible for worker’s compensation or not, you may file all other claims that are legally available to you. If you are an independent contractor, you may not be eligible to file a claim for worker’s compensation. In such a scenario, you may be able to sue your employer. In some instances, all kinds of injured workers (i.e., independent contractors and employees) can file legal claims against product manufacturers, property owners, contractors, and other third parties.

4. The right to get better

If you’ve been injured at work, then your legal rights extend far beyond your right to compensation. You have every right to get better. Furthermore, if you have a valid worker’s compensation claim, you have the legal right to get full coverage for your treatment expenses. Your employer may not force you to start working again until you’ve recovered fully. Also, your employer is not permitted to fire you if you decide to follow your doctor’s advice about when to return to work.

5. The right to disability compensation

If your injury prevents you from returning to work either temporarily or permanently, you have the legal right to collect social security disability benefits. The federal government provides these benefits, and regulations need to be met before you receive such benefits. For example, you should have had a mental or physical impairment that did not allow you to obtain substantial work to collect this compensation. Furthermore, the disability should be expected to last for at least 12 months or should have lasted for at least this duration of time.

6. The right to take your claim to court or file an appeal

Suppose you cannot secure appropriate compensation as a result of your worker’s compensation claim, or through settlement negotiations. In that case, you have the right to take your claim to court or file an appeal. Hence, it is imperative to consult with a trusted lawyer immediately after suffering a work injury to get the necessary guidance on what steps to take to protect your rights.