How to protect your rights to benefits

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Updated: 4/13/2007 3:37 pm
As soon as you realize that you may have been injured on the job, you must immediately inform your employer so that a report of your injury can be filled out, signed, and filed with the State Division of Workers' Compensation. Failure to notify your employer in a timely fashion may be enough reason for your employer's insurance company to deny payment of benefits, even if you're seriously injured. Generally, workers' compensation benefits are available even if the injury was your fault. You should provide your employer with the names of all witnesses, and a description of how you were hurt. The notice requirements of the Workers' Compensation Law are most important in a case involving exposure to chemicals, pesticides, asbestos, or other toxic substances. If you have been harmed at the workplace and are filing a claim, you have the right to an attorney whose fees are generally set by law as a percentage of the benefits you receive. Some circumstances under which you may consider hiring an attorney would include: having your claim rejected, having your claim accepted but not receiving the correct compensation, or if you're fired, suspended, or otherwise disciplined for filing a claim. Also, receiving workers' compensation benefits does not disqualify you from getting benefits from other pension and disability programs. Some attorneys will offer a free consultation to explain your rights and verify that you're getting all of the benefits to which you are entitled. For more information on how to protect your right to benefits, consult an experienced attorney.

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