High Risk Profession? Know Your Workers’ Compensation Rights

by kelliedennie on January 30, 2013

America has had some tough times over the past decade, but luckily, the majority of individuals are still able to maintain a job. Unfortunately, some of these jobs aren’t the safest in the world. Many employment opportunities come with an inherent risk of danger for those who step into them. Several occupations put workers in intrinsic danger, so it’s important for all of these employees to understand how to protect themselves.

1. The Most Dangerous Jobs

The fact that every business has to have worker’s compensation insurance goes to show that it’s possible to be injured in any line of work. For the following employees, however, danger is a way of life.

2. Commercial Fishers

Some TV shows have tried to romanticize a life at sea, but it’s actually very dangerous work. To show the danger involved in the job, it’s easy enough to compare it to another dangerous job. Electrical power line installers suffer about 20 deaths for every 100,000 employees. Sadly, this number is closer to 121 for commercial fishermen.

3. Logging Workers

Logging work is extremely physically demanding and requires workers to be in isolated areas for long periods of time. The often high altitudes, heavy machinery and other dangers related to logging cause about 102 deaths per every 100,000 logging workers.

4. Roofers

Roofing is another job that many people would correctly assume is dangerous. The work is excessively strenuous and by nature is done on elevated surfaces that are often extremely pitched. Around 32 per 100,000 roofing workers die each year due to their work, and while this isn’t as high as logging workers, it’s still much more dangerous than most jobs.

5. Rights of an Injured Worker

Those injured on the job are entitled to several rights. The first thing that a person must recognize is that worker’s compensation, regardless of how a person is injured, is meant to help employees who are injured on the job. This means that if a worker hurts themselves or is injured due to another person’s negligence, worker’s compensation will cover their injury.

Individuals have the right to receive worker’s comp benefits after their injury, and they can sometimes do this without any legal help. It’s important to point out, however, that having legal counsel is often a much safer bet. This will not only ensure that a person receives all of the benefits that they deserve; it will also ensure that they get any benefits that are specific to their job.

Some workers actually are entitled to more than just worker’s compensation benefits. Commercial fishermen, for instance, can also receive compensation under the Jones Act. The Jones Act is a maritime law that ensures fishermen are taken care of if injured in their overly dangerous job. Since the layperson doesn’t know all of the rights related to certain industries, it’s important to have legal help.

6. Protecting your Rights

The first thing that a person needs to do after being injured on the job is report the injury to their employer. This will ensure that their rights are protected. Failing to do this may reduce or even eliminate the benefits that a person can receive for their injury as has been the case in most Liberty Mutual workers comp claims. It’s also imperative to seek medical attention after being harmed on the job. Unless a doctor shows that an injury has occurred, a person is very unlikely to receive benefits.

An employer should provide a person with the necessary forms to fill out to make their worker’s compensation claim. Unfortunately, some employers simply don’t know their legal duties while others flat out try to deny providing these forms. If either of these are the case, a worker should contact a lawyer. While an attorney is useful in all workers’ compensation cases, they are absolutely essential when an insurance company or employer is giving a worker a hard time.

Most people would prefer to go back to work rather than receive worker’s compensation benefits. Unfortunately, due to health reasons, this isn’t always a possibility. The best thing that a person can do, regardless of whether they’re a fast food worker or involved in one of the aforementioned dangerous jobs, is understand their rights if they’re injured. This will help them get back on their feet after a workplace injury.

Kelly Dennie is a business owner and freelance writer. Doyle and Raizner LLP have litigated on behalf of those with Liberty Mutual workers compensation claims to find the insurer participating in what may be found as bad faith. Bad faith is intentionally and expressively denying or delaying redress of a valid claim or default on making or altogether ceasing benefit payments with no legal reason.




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