It’s no secret that navigating through the complexities of workers compensation laws can be incredibly difficult. Without the help of a qualified workers comp attorney, it can be almost impossible to get what you deserve. But before you pursue your case, it’s important to know the facts. Here are the two biggest myths and misconceptions surrounding workers compensation claims.
Workers compensation laws apply to all workers. This is an understandable misconception, considering that workers compensation laws differ by state. Approximately 74% of states require all employers to have workers’ compensation coverage. Some industries have different specifications than others. In some states, businesses with five or fewer employees are exempt from carrying workers compensation coverage. Mark Walls, Vice President of Communications and Strategic Analysis of Safety National in St. Louis, Missouri, explains on LexisNexis, “Employers can still choose to obtain coverage voluntarily. In June 2016 the New Mexico Supreme Court found this provision of their workers’ compensation law to be unconstitutional. Coverage is not required for domestic workers in 26 states and in five states they are specifically excluded from coverage under the statutes meaning employer cannot even obtain coverage voluntarily. In Texas, workers’ compensation is completely voluntarily.” It’s also important to keep in mind that employers of certain industries (agriculture, construction, temporary staffing, and trucking) often classify their employees incorrectly as independent contractors in order to avoid the obligation to provide coverage. Since workers compensations laws have so many technicalities, it’s always best to consult with a work injury attorney regarding the specifics of your case. Most employees who file a workers comp claim are faking their injury. This is a major myth, not to mention very illogical. Workers comp claims require a thorough investigation. Not only that, but those who file claims are typically out of work for an extended period of time. The fact is that there are some dishonest people out there, but the vast majority of those who file for workers comp have completely legitimate injuries and cases. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, over half of the approximately 2.9 million private industry injury and illness cases reported in 2015 involved days away from work, job transfer, or restriction. Knowing the answers to these common questions can help you determine the best course of action to take in the event of a work injury.