Connect with us

Executive Voice

Workers Compensation: What It Is, Why It Matters and When to Take Action

According to the most recent data available from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, private industry employers reported a total “2.7 million nonfatal workplace injuries and illnesses in 2020.” Of these, over 1.17 million incidents caused workers to miss one or more days of work.

Employers have an obligation to provide a safe working environment for their employees. When injuries or illnesses occur as a direct result of work-related activities, the ability to file a workers compensation claim can provide much-needed financial assistance for the injured individual.

As Marie Napoli, partner at Napoli Shkolnik, a personal injury firm based in New York, explains, however, “Many workers don’t fully understand their rights when they suffer an injury on the job. By understanding how workers compensation can help them — and knowing when and how to take action — they can get the financial assistance they deserve.”

The What and Why of Workers Compensation

“The vast majority of private employers in the United States are legally required to carry workers compensation insurance,” Napoli explains. “These policies provide financial coverage for wage replacement, medical care and even death benefits when a work-related injury, illness, disease or death occurs. Specific requirements can vary from state to state, but the gist of it is that if you employ others, you usually have the responsibility to carry this coverage.”

While an employee might not need financial assistance for a paper cut, there is no denying that many workplaces have inherent dangers that greatly increase the risk of injury. According to OSHA, one in five workplace deaths in 2019 were in the construction industry. Hazards from falls and equipment accidents greatly increase the risk for individuals in these and other industries.

However, even a mundane office environment could pose a health and safety risk. For example, working day after day in a building that contains asbestos can greatly increase an individual’s risk for cancer. Because the disease would be linked to a workplace hazard, this could also qualify for workers compensation coverage.

“When you aren’t able to work because of injury or illness, your financial situation can spiral out of control alarmingly fast,” Napoli says. “Most states require that workers compensation be two-thirds of your salary for the duration of the injury, which can make all the difference in helping you get by. However, if you have dependents or suffer a permanent injury or disease, the compensation can be greater to account for your lost earning potential. Workers compensation truly exists to protect employees’ financial well-being — but only if they file a claim.”

When and How to Take Action

As Napoli explains, workers compensation isn’t something that automatically kicks in for employees after they suffer an injury. “The employee or their family must file a claim to receive compensation — and this is when things can get complicated,” she says.

“Depending on your employer, you may need to file through the federal or state government. This can affect everything from the type of documentation you need to provide to the statute of limitations for when you can file a claim. Because your claim is being made against the employer’s workers compensation insurance provider, they have lawyers on their side, so there is no guarantee that you will get the benefits you need.”

Most states have a statute of limitations of one to two years from the date of the accident, but in some states, workers must submit a claim within 6 months. In Alaska, the timeframe is a mere 30 days.

However, regardless of the statute of limitations for filing a workers compensation claim, you must inform your employer of the accident within 30 days of the incident taking place. Failure to inform your employer in a timely manner could negate your ability to file a claim.

To file a workers compensation claim, you must provide documented proof that the injury or illness stems directly from a workplace accident or exposure. This claim can be supplemented by medical records, witness testimonies and diagnostic testing. The physicians who provide the medical documentation must be approved by state or federal workers compensation boards. Specific forms must be used for the state where you are filing a claim.

“Getting a claim submitted — or even informing your employer — when you are trying to recover from an injury isn’t always possible,” Napoli notes. “In New York, the majority of claims are denied when they are first submitted, often because of simple mistakes like missing documentation or information. While denials can be disputed and appealed, you’re better off working with a trusted legal advisor who can help you avoid these mistakes in the first place.”

Making Workers Compensation Work For You

Whether you work in an office job or on a construction site, there is always potential for a work-related illness or injury. Your employer’s workers compensation coverage is designed to provide the financial recompense you deserve when a work-related incident causes you to be unable to do your job or to experience significant hardship.

By getting the help you need to file a claim, you can ensure a more secure financial future for you and your family.

Estonian-born, Tallinn-based entrepreneur, CEO, manager, marketing strategist and professional athlete. My work have been featured by Tech.com Engadget, Medium and other publication. In my free time, I love to get engage with people, and travel to explore the world.

Advertisement defi

Join Disrupt Magazine

Become A Disrupt Contributor

Most Disruptive

Social Media4 days ago

Khaby Lame Becomes The Most Followed TikToker in The World

Khabane Lame was a machine operator but now trending and just became a star from an account he created on...

Tiger_Shroff Tiger_Shroff
Entertainment5 days ago

Meet Bollywood Star Tiger Shroff

Tiger Shroff has a long history in the film industry, starting before his birth. With prominent parents in the industry...

Amanda Bernardo Amanda Bernardo
Women Who Disrupt5 days ago

Meet “The Pizza Princess” Amanda Bernardo

If you live in or near New Haven, Connecticut, you may be familiar with the hidden gem that is “New...

Shirley_Setia Shirley_Setia
Women Who Disrupt6 days ago

Meet Upcoming Bollywood Star Shirley Setia

Shirley Setia is the little Kiwi that could. Coming out of seemingly nowhere with a hit cover on YouTube, she...

two people shaking hands two people shaking hands
Diversity in Tech1 week ago

How the Best Leaders Create and Build Trust in a Modern Workplace

Being a leader in any setting can be challenging but within professional settings, you really are juggling a lot at...

Jay Majors Jay Majors
Executive Voice2 weeks ago

How Jay Majors Is Disrupting The Barber Industry

When we see a successful figure in any industry, learning their story, where they came from, and how they’ve struggled...

Daymond JOhn Daymond JOhn
Executive Voice3 weeks ago

Daymond John Can’t be Stopped

Perhaps you know Daymond John from the wildly popular show Shark Tank. Or maybe you’re familiar with his revolutionary clothing...

Finance3 weeks ago

Ryan Carroll Establishes Wealth Assistants to Serve as a Launching Pad for Hopefuls Worldwide

Countless highly accomplished personalities and established authorities have proven that the pursuit of one’s passion can be a way to...

Business4 weeks ago

Social Media Star, TheBlondeJon’s Journey from Homelessness to Multimillionaire Status

A strong self-belief in oneself is a powerful enabler no matter the obstacles or challenges one faces on a journey....

Entrepreneurship4 weeks ago

Skylar Domine on His Bold Moves in the Entrepreneurial Realm and Overarching Mission to Help People and Communities

Many of today’s powerhouses managed to gain a solid foothold in the world of business and stand out in an...


Copyright © 2020 Disrupt ™ Magazine - Disrupt is a Minority Owned Privately Held Company

Disrupt ™ is the voice of Latino entrepreneurs around the world. We are part of a global movement to increase diversity in the technology industry and we are focused on using entrepreneurship to grow new economies in underserved communities around the world. We enable millennials to become what they want to become in life by learning new skills and leveraging the power of the digital economy. We are living proof that all you need to succeed in this new economy is a landing page and a dream. Disrupt tells the stories of the world top entrepreneurs, developers, creators, and digital marketers and help empower them to teach others the skills they used to grow their careers, chase their passions and create financial freedom for themselves, their families, and their lives, all while living out their true purpose. We recognize the fact that most young people are opting to skip college in exchange for entrepreneurship and real-life experience. This Podcast was designed to give them a taste of that.