When I think of what took place in the past before workers compensation, I'm brought back to my hometown of Lowell, Massachusetts, the country's very first industrial city.
It's still a place where the big brick mills scorch the earth of downtown.
And starting in the mid 1800's, many men, women and children toiled at hard labor for so little. Many died and suffered injury, and that's was the way it went. Many of my Irish and Greek and whatever other blooded ancestors I have, were cogs in that industrial machinery, where profit trumped human decency.
As a college student, I worked as a US Park Ranger giving tours of the mills and canals of Lowell. But nothing could adequately show the cruelty of the system and the human costs. Yet these days, in different ways, many workers feel the same type of pain, when they have given so much only to be abandoned.
We won't stand for it.
UNDERSTANDING WORKERS COMPENSATION CLAIMS
With rare exception, if you get injured on the job, that will automatically trigger payment of benefits. Injury = benefits. The law of workers compensation is designed to take care of you as soon as possible. That's the theory any way.
Sadly, too many employers act like the old day factory owners, where the workers were just tools and a means of production. If they couldn't work, too bad, that were cast aside, knowing full well the injured worker didn't have the time, money or means to fight back.
It's a good thing most employers don't act like that these days, but sometimes some do, and the difference is you can fight back with the law on your side.
Like all laws, however, the workers compensation system is not perfect. To get all the good benefits, employers are immunized from suit. That means, you get workers compensation benefits exclusively and can not bring suit against your employer. As a result, you will not receive compensation for your pain and suffering and other very important emotional parts of your damages.
Such is the law and a qualified workers compensation lawyer can explain it all in detail.
One other twist, is that if your work related injury was caused by a person or corporate entity other than your employer, you might be able to bring a claim for damages against what is called a ” third party.”
As you can see, this is a complicated area of law and way too important not to sit down with an expert to go over the details of your situation.
Don't just rely on any brief outline, because everybody's situation is different. Just remember that employees are not slaves and you have rights.
Don't take any risks.
The law provides certain benefits and you should know exactly what they are. It costs nothing to talk with a qualified workers compensation specialist. More than likely your employer pays an insurance company to provide these benefits. Make them pay.