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Common Myths About Workers' Compensation Debunked

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Nearly three million workers suffer from workplace illnesses and injuries each year. If you work in an industry with a high rate of on-the-job injuries or have concerns about what type of legal protections you have if you get hurt while working, it is in your best interest to brief yourself on workers' compensation rules. This includes learning about popular misconceptions regarding receiving compensation for workplace injuries. The following list includes some of the most popular myths about workers' compensation.

You Cannot Receive Benefits if the Cause of the Accident Was Your Fault

State workers' compensation laws stipulate that workers can receive benefits regardless of who was at fault. This no-fault system of compensation can help alleviate any worries you may have about filing a claim when it is not clear why an accident occurred or if your injury was the result of a mistake you made on the job.

However, depending on the state you live in, the amount of compensation you receive may be limited.

Your Employer Cannot Fire You While You Receive Workers' Comp

If you live in a state with at-will employment laws, your employer can fire you at any time. However, if you get laid off while you are receiving workers' compensation, your benefits will not end or be terminated prematurely.

Even though your job may not protected while you are out recovering from an injury, do not worry about your benefits being cut off.

In Texas, over 21 percent of workers who were fired while receiving workers compensation believe the termination was due to their job-related injury. If you feel an employer is retaliating by firing you while you are out on leave, get legal counsel.

You Cannot Receive Compensation if Your Claim Gets Denied

If your initial claim for benefits gets denied, do not lose hope. States have appeal rules that enable you to re-submit a claim and have your case heard before a state board when an insurance company disputes your claim.

You Can Only File a Claim for an Injury That Occurred on the Job Site

If you are en route to work, on a job-related trip or participating in an employee-sponsored activity away from the office and get injured, you can still file for workers' compensation. However, the exact rules for off-site injuries vary by state.

Claims for Legitimate Injuries Will Be Paid Without a Fight

Even if your injury is clearly the fault of your employer, you should not underestimate the desire of an insurance company to pay out as little as possible for your claim.

You may love your job and have complete trust in your employer but the company you work for is not in charge of settling your claim. Your employer's insurance company will determine your claim payout.

It is the job of insurance adjustors to keep claim amounts as low as possible. Consequently, never assume that the insurance company is on your side and looking out for your best interest.

Being forced to stop working because of an on-the-job injury can be a frustrating experience. Furthermore, if you have to fight tooth and nail to receive the benefits you deserve to take care of your medical bills, you will have to deal with an added amount of emotional strain.

If you are in any way unsure or hesitant about what steps to take to file a claim or an appeal, you should contact a workers compensation attorney immediately in order to protect your health and ability to earn a decent living. Do not worry about paying the lawyer. In general, workers' compensation attorneys will only charge you fees if they are successful in obtaining a settlement for you.

Be sure to click to find out more about workers' compensation and how best to handle your situation.