In high risk jobs, it's likely that at some point, you will be in a position to make a worker's comp claim. Worker's compensation is a monetary benefit given to injured workers to prevent them from filing a lawsuit against their employer. It covers medical expenses associated with the injury as well as lost wages from time missed from work. However, there are times when worker's compensation may not be the best option for an employee. Below are five reasons for employees to not use their worker's compensation.
- You Could Get More Money from a Lawsuit
Depending upon the injury, it's sometimes best to pursue legal action rather than use worker's compensation benefits. If an employee sustains a permanent injury that results in losing a limb, blindness, hearing loss, or other physical harm it may be in his or her best interest to pursue legal action. While worker's compensation will pay for these injuries, a lawsuit will often result in far more benefits for an employee that standard worker's compensation benefits. If you're on the fence, contact an accident injury lawyer or a worker's comp attorney to get their opinion.
- It Can Make Finding a New Job Difficult
While employees are well within their legal rights to accept worker's compensation benefits, they may also find it difficult to obtain another job if they do. While worker's comp laws ban discrimination against a person who receives worker's compensation benefits, the truth is many employers are less inclined to hire someone who has. Most job applications ask potential employees if they have ever filed a worker's compensation claim, and those who answer yes are often viewed as potentially risky employees who will cost the employer time and money.
- When Your Employer Won’t Accept Responsibility
When it’s difficult to prove the accident was the employer's fault, you may want to think twice about pursuing a worker's compensation claim. If there were no witnesses to your injury, your employer may not be ready and willing to accept responsibility. The result may be a long, dragged-out process that results in much animosity being built up between you and your employer, not to mention the cost of hiring a workers compensation lawyer to help you through the process.
- If Your Injury Isn’t Serious or Permanent
Many times, employees try to get worker's compensation for injuries that do not result in permanent physical disability or other difficulties. Not only does this make it harder on you and your employer, but it also tends to label you as a difficult employee looking for some easy money. Short term disability may be a better choice for you.
- If Your Employer Asks You Not to File a Claim
In some instances, your employer may ask you not to file a worker's compensation claim. Depending upon your relationship with your employer, they may sometimes prefer to work out a settlement with you to expedite the process and save everyone much time and potential embarrassment.
If you are injured on the job, it's imperative to report it immediately and put yourself in the best possible position to receive whatever monetary benefits you deserve. However, worker’s compensation isn’t always the appropriate choice.