Workers' compensation is meant to be paid out any time an employee suffers an injury while at work or on the job while out of the office. Unfortunately, it doesn't always work that way, and you may find that your medical bills aren't being covered. What can you do? The most common choice is to hire an attorney who works with workers' compensation law. Why might you need one? Here are three situations that might mirror yours.
Your Employer Didn't Carry Workers' Compensation Insurance
The first reason to call an attorney is if your employer didn't carry workers' compensation insurance. If your employer doesn't have this, there's no way for you to make a claim. It's illegal for your employer not to have it, but the fact that he or she will be penalized doesn't help you one bit.
You can speak to your attorney about suing your employer directly, which may be your only option to obtain compensation.
You've Been Misidentified As An Independent Contractor
An independent contractor is a person who works for him or herself and is hired by clients. For example, a construction team may need someone who can drive a forklift, so an independent forklift driver could be paid for a day's work and then let go. That's a normal situation where an independent contractor is involved. You could be misclassified as one, though, if your employer is trying to dodge paying taxes, for benefits or for workers' compensation insurance. If you work at a regular time, can't pass on a project without getting fired, are paid regularly according to fair wage standards, and are expected to show up to work every day, you're more than likely an employee of a company. If you've been misclassified and can't obtain workers' compensation, this is another case where you may have the option to sue for compensation.
You Were Hurt By a Third Party
Another reason to hire an attorney is if you were hurt by a third party while on the job. Yes, workers' compensation should cover your medical expenses and even some of your lost wages, but it's not just your employer who should be held responsible for the negligence that got you hurt. The third party, whether it's an independent contractor or the manufacturer of a product, is also liable, and you can file a claim to obtain compensation from them as well.
These are just three situations where an attorney like Hoffman, Hamer & Associates, PLLC can help you get the money you deserve.