Workers’ comp benefits
Worker’s compensation attorney is focused on protecting the rights of workers who have been injured on the job. Ordinarily, there should be no burden on the employee to prove or disprove fault. However, as a matter of business, there are employers who purposely intend to make the process cumbersome and burdensome in an attempt to discourage employees from using the benefits to which they are entitled. In fact, there are documented cases in which worker’s compensation retaliation has become a very serious trend throughout the country.
What the statistics say
According to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics (BLS), the number of injuries occurring in the workplace has steadily decreased over the last 10 years. That is a positive and significant decline. The cause of this trend has been attributed to a number of different factors, the most positive being safer work conditions. However, there are many experts who say that the fear of employer retaliation is also a significant factor in the decrease of reported injuries. Companies are using more aggressive tactics that discourage workers from reporting their workplace injuries. The mere fact that while worker’s compensation claims have dropped, the number of worker’s compensation retaliation claims has doubled; seems to substantiate this claim.
OSHA findings on workplace injuries
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has investigated and discovered that a substantial number of workplace injuries go unreported. The OSHA investigations have revealed that most workplace injuries are the result of unsafe working conditions, rather than employee negligence. In such cases, if an employee reported an injury, any subsequent investigation may lead to the company receiving a fine. Certainly in these cases, employers feel the need to discourage the reporting of injuries in order to avoid possibility of an OSHA investigation.
Consequently, some employers resorted to blaming the employee for the injury and challenging their worker’s compensation claim. There are isolated cases where employers even go so far as to penalize employees for making a claim. During the economic downturn, when the job market was soft, most employees were afraid to bring a worker’s compensation claim and risk retaliation from their employer.
When to call a Worker’s compensation attorney
There are many workers’ compensation scenarios in which you will want and need the services of a worker’s compensation attorney for advice or intervention:
• Your insurance carrier denies your benefits
• You cannot get medical treatment
• Promised care or benefits never came through
• Your employer denies you were hurt on the job
• You are being asked to give a deposition or a statement
If your claim is denied
If your Workers’ Compensation claim is denied, you should immediately seek legal advice. If a worker’s compensation attorney or representative for the insurance company wants to speak with you, do not appear without your own legal representation for the meeting. Having a worker’s compensation attorney with you provides you with the necessary support and expertise to ensure that nothing is done unfairly, because the system is not set up with your best interests in mind.
Worker’s compensation lawyer in Charlotte, NC
Every employee should be aware that the law provides them protection should they get injured at work. If you or someone you know has been injured at work, and if you are looking for worker’s comp attorneys who have years of experience; consider The Olive Law Firm in Charlotte, NC. Call their offices for a complimentary consultation in English or Spanish. It does not matter what kind of work related injury you have, you deserve to know your options. The Olive Law Firm has been helping Carolinians understand their rights and seek justice since 1957. Call them today to schedule a free consultation with a worker’s compensation attorney.