Workers Compensation

Workers Compensation (sometimes called Workman’s Compensation, Workman’s Comp or Workers Comp) is a system to help protect employees who become sick or injured on the job.

Workman’s compensation paperwork and processes can be difficult to understand, particularly if you have never had such a claim before. The team at University Spine Center are experienced patient advocates in the Workman’s Comp process. If you are in need of a second opinion for a Workman’s Comp claim, the team at University Spine Center may be able to help you:

What You Need to Know About Workers Compensation

  • You apply for Workers Comp at your place of employment
  • You cannot get Workers Comp if your injury or illness is not job related
  • Benefits typically include medical care, a percentage of your regular wages or salary, and continuation of your employee benefit package
  • Workers Comp rules vary by state but some form of Workers Comp exists in every state
  • Workers Comp is a no-fault program, that is, an injury may be covered even if it was your fault

First Steps

If you were injured on the job or became ill as a result of your employment, you must notify your employer as soon as possible. This is important because some states will not allow claims that are made too late after the fact.

  • You must complete a Workers Comp form
  • If your accident was witnessed, be sure to provide the name(s) of anyone who could be a witness for your Workers Comp claim

Medical Care in Workers Compensation

You may be required to see a specific physician to assert your Workers Comp claim.

  • In most states, you also have the right to continue to see your own doctor.
  • Most Workers Comp covers medical expenses related to the injury or illness.

Returning to Work

As you recover, you may want to go back to work. In some situations, your physician may approve “light duty” but not your previous job. Your employer is not obligated to offer you “light duty,”  if it is not available.

While you may want to return to work as soon as you can, it is important to follow the advice of your physician. Do not risk re-injury by returning to work before it is safe and appropriate for you to do so.

Legal Issues

If you have serious legal questions about Workers Compensation, you should consult an attorney who specializes in these matters in your state. Here is some general information.

  • The privacy of your medical records in a Workers Comp claim is not as protected as the privacy of other medical records—they can be disclosed to employers
  • Workers Comp is no fault insurance, but it may not cover self-inflicted injuries or injuries or accidents related to drug or alcohol abuse on the job
  • You can consult with your state’s Workers Compensation Board for more information and to learn your rights.

Your employer has the right to:

  • Dispute your claim
  • Investigate your claim
  • Not help you fill out the proper paperwork

Your employer does not have the right to:

  • Retaliate against you, fire you, or take action against you on the job
  • Do the same to anyone who helps you, such as a witness