What Business Law Says About Workers' Compensation

business law workers' compensation workplace injury lawsuit company negligence

If you are not familiar, business law is a particular legal area. It deals with such things as corporate law, mercantile or trade law, etc. Going deeper, it involves conduct, relations, and rights of those in sales, trading, merchandising, and commerce. 

If you take time to think about it, you’d see that worker’s compensation and business law directly intersect. Business law protects those who work, and part of that is compensation if you’ve been hurt on the job, fired without cause, or other issues. 

Let’s look at what business law says about worker’s comp. You’ll find this information useful if you’re trying to get compensation, and you’re trying to navigate this murky legal world. 

Every Business Needs To Have A Worker’s Compensation Program 

The first thing business law tells us about worker’s comp is that every business entity needs to provide it for deserving employees. It couldn’t be any more vital. 

In Georgia alone, in 2017, there were over 78,200 nonfatal workplace injuries. Other states saw similarly high rates. Workplace injuries can include: 

• Slip-and-falls 
• Concussions 
• Puncture wounds 
• Broken bones 
• Lacerations 

It’s hard to envision some of those if you work in an office environment. However, losing your balance is sometimes all it takes for a severe injury to befall you. 

Because of this, every company needs to have a worker’s comp program. If you’re hurt, and they try to tell you that they don’t have one, then you have cause to sue them. 

You Start The Process By Filing A Claim 

If you’re injured while you’re on your employer’s premises, then it’s highly likely that you’ll have a case to get worker’s comp, even if what happened was not the employer’s fault. A worker’s comp claim is like an insurance claim. The process is as follows: 

• First, you get medical treatment for what happened 
• You then tell your employer what took place 
• You request a work injury claim form from them 
• Your employer files the claim 

What happens next varies, but generally, you’ll receive notice before very long about whether your claim is valid or not. 

What Happens If The Claim Goes Through? 

Business law tells us that after the claim goes through, meaning the insurer accepts it, you should be able to get financial compensation while recovering from what took place. 

You might receive your full paycheck or part of it. You also should be able to get help with medical expenses from the same source. 

You’ll next need to either stay home and recover, go through physical therapy, or whatever else the doctor says with whom you consulted. How long you’re out of work will depend on the injury’s severity. 

How bad the injury is will also determine how long you get worker’s compensation. A worse injury usually means a longer compensation period, but many factors will determine that. No compensation is indefinite, so even if they validate your claim, that money will eventually stop coming in. 

What Happens If The Insurance Company Rejects Your Claim? 

If the insurer rejects your worker’s comp claim, then there are usually a couple of different paths open to you. Business law tells us that you don’t have to accept that first “no” as the final answer. 

One thing that you can do is to contact the insurance carrier, usually either by phone or email and request clarification about why they turned you down. They could have a valid reason for it or think they do. In any case, you’re due an explanation. 

If you don’t agree with what you’re hearing from them, then you’ll next probably contact a lawyer whose specialty is worker’s comp cases. They will work on the case for you, and then, together with them, you will plead your case to the state’s worker’s comp board. 

You might have to call witnesses on your behalf, provide security camera footage of what took place, and more. Your lawyer can help you with that and instruct you on how to conduct yourself during the hearing. 

What If Your Company Was Negligent? 

There are also instances where you hurt yourself because your company was negligent. For example, maybe you slipped and fell in a construction area at your work where there wasn’t sufficient signage, or they failed to warn you that they were working there. 

Business law says that’s a different scenario than a simple worker’s comp case. Negligence means that you can go after not just worker’s compensation, but also monetary damages for pain and suffering. 

The process through which you’ll go is different, but that’s another instance where you’ll certainly need a lawyer on your side. Some worker’s comp lawyers also specialize in suing negligent employers, or you might choose to go with someone else for the job. 

In many cases, these lawyers agree that you pay them nothing unless they win money for you. They’ll probably take a healthy cut from your winnings. Still, you might walk away with millions after it’s all said and done. 

Is Suing Your Company For Negligence The Right Thing To Do? 

This is an ugly side of business law, but it’s sometimes a necessary one. Let’s say that your work is being intractable. Their insurance provider won’t grant you your worker’s comp, but you feel that action or inaction by your employer led directly to your injury. 

Suing them for damages might be your best option. You probably won’t relish doing it, but it might be the only way for you to get justice. 

It’s not like you would take those winnings on a tropical vacation. In addition to paying the lawyer, you probably need that money for medical bills, physical therapy, or maybe just to live on until you heal fully. 

As you can see, business law and worker’s comp directly intertwine. You should be glad that both exist. It is sometimes only through contacting a business lawyer that you can get the worker’s comp you deserve, or financial damages if your company was responsible for what took place.

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