The details within workers’ compensation laws can be pretty complicated sometimes, often varying by state and circumstance. Because workers’ compensation can be confusing, the facts about it sometimes get jumbled and it can be hard to figure out what is true.
At Bentoff & Duber, our team of experienced workers’ compensation lawyers knows the ins and outs of these laws. We would like to take a moment to debunk 10 of the most common misconceptions around workers’ compensation.
If you were injured at work, you may have heard some of the below thoughts. Don’t be misled by these misconceptions:
- Workers’ compensation claims aren’t worth filing.
- Even if you feel there are some factors involved with your injury that might disqualify your claim or you’re not sure what the outcome will be, or even if the injury is considered “minor,” there are likely additional benefits available to you that you are not aware of. Claims are definitely worth filing if you’ve been injured at work.
- My employer will watch out for my best interest.
- You may have a really strong bond with your employer, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that they will look out for you after an injury occurs. It’s best to have a legal partner who can help navigate these waters and negotiate so that your best interest really is top priority.
- Independent contractors are never eligible for workers’ compensation.
- Depending on the situation, independent contractors are sometimes eligible for workers’ compensation benefits. It’s always best to discuss with an attorney.
- It’s not worth fighting denied claims.
- If your claim was initially denied, you have the right to file an appeal and have your case re-examined during a hearing in front of the industrial commission.
- Workers’ compensation claims are cut and dry.
- There are many factors that go into a workers’ compensation claim. This makes each claim unique and the outcome and available benefits can vary for each one, so it’s best to work with an attorney who has experience in workers’ compensation law.
- You cannot choose your doctor to treat your workers’ compensation-covered injury or your employer gets to choose the doctor.
- In Ohio, you’re allowed to select the doctor you want to treat your injuries. Your employer does not get a say in who you choose.
- Workers’ compensation claims only cover treatment and not consultations.
- You may have heard that your medical consultation is not covered under workers’ compensation and you’ll have to pay for it out of pocket. This is not true. Workers’ compensation does cover consultations.
- Emergency medical services are not covered under workers’ compensation.
- Emergency room visits and emergency response care are both covered under workers’ compensation benefits, as long as your claim is approved.
- If you’re in a car accident while working, you are not eligible to file both a personal injury and workers’ compensation claim.
- You are able to file both claims. Each one provides different benefits.
- My employer can fire me if I pursue a workers’ compensation claim.
- A lot of employees are nervous or afraid to file a workers’ compensation claim after they’re hurt at work because they don’t want to get fired. Employers, however, cannot fire employees for filing a claim. It is illegal for an employer to fire an employee for filing or pursuing a workers’ compensation claim.
We hope this helps clear things up, but if you’ve been hurt at work, it’s a good idea to contact an experienced lawyer to help you through this process.
About the author: Brandon Duber, a Partner with Bentoff & Duber Co., LPA, is a lawyer with proven experience in the courtroom and expertise in the areas of workers’ compensation, criminal defense, personal injury and medical malpractice law. He received his B.A. from Skidmore College in Saratoga Springs, NY and his J.D. from The Case Western Reserve University School of Law in Cleveland, OH.