If you work in California, it is important for you to know the facts about your rights to workers’ compensation. You may not think this is relevant if you are not currently dealing with a work-related injury. But it is important for you to know the difference between what is myth and fact so you can receive the benefits you need in the event of a workplace accident.
Here are some common myths about workers’ compensation and the truths behind them.
Myth 1: It’s up to you to cover the cost of medical care after a work accident.
Sometimes injured workers avoid getting medical treatment because they believe they can’t afford it. The truth is that workers’ compensation covers medical care for workplace injuries, so there is no need to fear the cost of medical care. In fact, if you wait to get treatment, the insurer might say that you weren’t hurt as badly as you were, so it’s best to get treatment as soon as possible.
Also, your workers’ comp attorney can connect you with a doctor who will provide full and appropriate treatment and not send you back to work before you’re well.
Myth 2: You cannot afford to hire an attorney.
Workers’ compensation claims can be complex, and it’s a good idea to work with an attorney with experience in these types of claims. Many people don’t hire an attorney, though, because they believe they can’t afford the fees. The reality is that your workers’ compensation claim can be handled by an attorney on a contingency-fee basis. That means you do not pay out-of-pocket costs, and the attorney doesn’t get paid unless you receive compensation.
Myth 3: Workers’ compensation covers all workers.
Workers’ compensation does not protect all workers. However, if you are classified as an employee, your employer must provide workers’ comp benefits in the event of a work-related accident. If you are classified as an independent contractor, though, you should speak with an attorney about your options beyond workers’ compensation, which is generally for employees only.
For further guidance on workers’ compensation and the related benefits, speak with a lawyer about your specific situation.