When you suffer an injury on the job, it is important to report it as soon as possible to your employer. Not doing so could hinder your chances to receive workers’ compensation benefits, which are crucial for paying your medical bills and other expenses, such as lost wages, that result from your on-the-job injury.
However, some employees actually avoid filing a workers’ compensation claim. There are several reasons for this, but it usually goes back to fear of employer retaliation. Here is some more information about why employees may avoid filing a claim after sustaining an on-the-job injury, and reasons why their reasoning may not be accurate:
Workers’ compensation and employer retaliation
North Carolina law requires employers with three or more employees to carry workers’ compensation insurance. Employees may decide not to report their injuries because they fear their employer will fire them if they do so. However, the law protects an employee’s right to workers’ compensation. An employer cannot terminate an employee for filing a workers’ compensation claim. If the injury prevents the employee from performing her or his job, the employer should offer an alternative position or vocational training benefits if no alternative position is available. Although circumstances may vary, it is important for you to understand that you should not avoid filing a workers’ compensation claim because you are afraid of retaliation.
Fear of denied claim
Sometimes, employees avoid filing a claim because they fear a denial or the hassle of going through the workers’ compensation insurance claims process. While it is true that it can be difficult to face an insurance adjuster, you should move forward with your claim. Although the insurance companies may work hard to deny your claim or reduce your benefits because they want to look out for their bottom line, there are ways you can fight back. One is to consult with a workers’ compensation attorney, who can properly advise you about your rights and how to appeal a denied claim.
If you sustain an injury on the job, do not let your fears of employer retaliation or a denied claim prevent you from filing. The benefits of workers’ compensation are essential, especially if you suffer a serious injury that keeps you off the job and thus results in lost wages. Take the appropriate steps to file your claim as soon as possible. Deadlines for filing are tight, and you will need to notify your employer as soon as you are injured to begin the claims process.