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Workers Comp - Workers' Compensation

Workers Comp, sometimes referred to as Workman's Compensation or Workers' Compensation, is the name given to a system of laws meant to protect injured workers.

The goal is to make sure that somebody who is injured at work receives appropriate medical care, lost wages relating to the on-the-job injury, and, if necessary, retraining and rehabilitation, to be able to return to the workforce.

If workers are killed on the job, members of the workers' families generally become eligible for workers comp benefits.

Most injured workers recover quickly, and beyond making the initial injury report have no real awareness of the Workers' Compensation system.

Those who are more seriously injured may have difficulty with their employer or with the compensation system. Those workers may benefit from consulting with lawyers that specialize in workers comp.

Worker's Compensation litigation is generally considered to be simpler than traditional injury litigation, as it takes place in an administrative setting and may involve relaxed evidentiary rules. Attorney fees are ordinarily limited by statute.

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Workers typically need to hire a workers comp lawyer when they are:

1. Refused benefits to which they are entitled

2. Are told they can return to work before medically able

3. Are denied extended or permanent disability despite significant disabling injury

If your employer sends you to a doctor who declares that you are able to return to work even though you don't believe you are yet able, or tries to get you to return to work to a special job created to accommodate your injury, you should consider speaking to a workers comp lawyer.

While a typical injured employee does not know the law, a typical employer is very much aware of how the compensation system works, and how to terminate an employee's benefits. An injured worker who returns to work in a specially created position may well find that, two weeks later, the position is eliminated and he is laid off - but is no longer eligible for workers comp.

Similarly, many employers utilize doctors who are much more interested in maintaining a good continuing relationship with the employer than with accurately diagnosing the employee. If a physician sets forth too many declarations of continuing disability, it will likely cause the employer to send injured employees to a different doctor.

A lawyer can help you protect your rights when a doctor such as this tries to block you from getting necessary treatment, cease your benefits prematurely, or send you back to work too early.

When Can You Sue?

Ordinarily an employee who qualifies for Workers' Compensation benefits may not file a personal injury suit against the employer. There are two narrow exceptions where Worker's Compensation preemption might not apply, and an employer might be subject to lawsuit:

1. When an employer intentionally causes injury to an employee
2. When an employer is required to carry Workers' Compensation coverage but fails to do so

This exception for intentional acts is very narrow. It is not ordinarily enough that an employer creates conditions where there is a very high probability that an employee will be injured. Ordinarily the employer must have committed a specific act intended to cause injury to the employee.

Please note that worker's compensation law can be complex and these laws and policies are subject to amendment at any time.

If you need help with a workers comp issue, please consult a licensed attorney. This is one of the many areas of law that the outcome is normally better for you with an attorney than without.

Workers' Compensation Center ( Workmans Comp )

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(913) 708-8194

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