What Are Your Rights As An Injured Employee?
Anyone can suffer a work injury, including people who work in offices, but some workers are more at risk of suffering work-related injuries than others. Due to their frequent interaction with dangerous conditions and heavy machinery, construction workers, workers in the agricultural industry, and structural and steel workers are among the workers most at risk of suffering work-related injuries. If you recently suffered an injury while on the job, you are probably experiencing a lot of stress. You may be wondering how to proceed. You may also be asking yourself, “What rights do I have as an injured employee?”
So, what are your rights as an injured employee? Below, we discuss some of your rights as an injured employee.
The Right to File a Workers’ Compensation Claim
Workers’ compensation is a program that permits injured employees to recover financial compensation to cover, among other things, medical expenses and lost wages. In Vermont, the law requires all employers to have workers’ compensation insurance, so all employees in Vermont have the right to file a workers’ compensation claim. And the good news is that workers’ compensation is a no-fault system. In Vermont, you can recover payment in a workers’ compensation claim even if you did something that caused your injury. There are only a few circumstances when an at-fault employee would be barred from recovering workers’ compensation benefits in Vermont, such as if they were intoxicated when they suffered their injury.
The Right to Seek Medical Treatment
You have the right to seek medical attention, and in Vermont, an injured worker can choose which doctor to see. Your boss may tell you which doctor to see for your first medical visit, but you have the right to see a doctor of your choosing after the first visit.
The Right to Resume Work Once Medically Released
Another right you have as an injured employee is the right to resume work after your doctor medically releases you. Your employer is prohibited from discriminating against you for your injuries or the fact that you are paid workers’ compensation benefits. If you sustained a disability or an injury that cannot allow you to return to your former job at full capacity, you have options. For example, you can request accommodations from your employer to resume work even with your disability.
The Right to Appeal if You Disagree With the Outcome of Your Workers’ Compensation Claim
You can file an appeal if you feel the outcome of your workers’ compensation claim is an unfair one. In such a case, it is advisable to contact a qualified attorney. Filing an appeal can be a complex process. Hiring a skilled attorney can increase your chances of seeing a positive outcome.
The Right to Make a Third-party Claim
Since workers’ compensation is a no-fault system, you cannot sue your employer even if your employer did something that led to your injury. However, if you suffered your work injury because of a third party’s negligence, you could be eligible to file a personal injury lawsuit against the negligent third party.
Contact a Vermont Workers’ Compensation Attorney
Contact our qualified and dedicated Vermont workers’ compensation attorney at Sluka Law PLC today if you’ve sustained a work-related injury and need help understanding your rights or seeking workers’ compensation benefits.