Lesser Known Facts About Workers’ Compensation Claims

Compensation for work-related injuries may seem like a modern idea based on today’s more compassionate society, still, you might be surprised to learn that the practice of compensating a worker who sustains an injury on the job existed as far back in history as 2050 BC when workers in ancient Sumeria received monetary compensation for disabling injuries such as bone fractures under the laws of King Ur-Nammu. Other ancient societies including Roman, Greek, and Chinese civilizations also practiced the rule of compensating workers for severe injuries such as the loss of a body part. If you find these facts surprising, you might wonder if there are other facts you don’t know about Worker’s Compensation claims — a system we sometimes take for granted.

Workers’ Compensation is a No-Fault System

Because Oklahoma has an at-fault system for car insurance in the event of an accident, many Oklahoma residents assume that worker’s compensation is also a fault-based system. Some injured employees decide against making a claim because they falsely believe they’ll have to prove their boss was negligent or at fault in the accident in order to receive benefits, which would then cause dissension in the workplace. Fortunately, workers’ compensation always operates on a no-fault system. If you’re injured at work you only have to show that your injury occurred in the normal practice of your on-the-job duties.

Some Job Positions Don’t Qualify for Worker’s Compensation

While workers’ compensation covers the vast majority of employment positions, there are a few work categories that are exempt from coverage. Some examples of exemptions include the following:

  • Independent contractors
  • Some agricultural positions
  • Real estate agents who work on commission
  • Federal employees who are already covered under the Federal Employees’ Compensation Act (FECA)
  • Unpaid volunteer workers

If you aren’t certain you’re covered under workers’ compensation in your current position you can find out by contacting Oklahoma’s Workers’ Compensation Commission. 

If Your Employer Failed to Carry Worker’s Compensation Insurance You Have Other Options

Oklahoma requires most employers to carry workers’ compensation insurance. If you’re hurt on the job and discover that your employer failed to provide this protection you have the option to file a personal injury claim instead. One benefit of a personal injury claim is the option to claim compensation for pain and suffering — something workers’ compensation doesn’t cover. On the other hand, you give up your right to file a personal injury lawsuit against an employer by receiving workers’ compensation benefits. Speak to an Oklahoma City workers’ compensation lawyer to learn more. 

You May Still Be Eligible for Benefits After Returning to Work

Most people believe their workers’ compensation benefits cease the moment they’ve recovered enough to return to work. In fact, some benefits may continue under certain circumstances. For instance, if you were only able to return to a lesser-paid position or one with fewer hours, you could continue to receive compensation to make up for the difference in pay.

You Don’t Have to be Hurt on the Job Site to Receive Compensation

Finally, many people mistakenly believe they don’t qualify for workers’ compensation benefits unless they are hurt while physically in their place of employment or at the job site. Actually, even if you’re out making a delivery or running a work-related errand while on the clock, your injury is still covered.

If you’ve been injured on the job and have questions about workers’ compensation coverage you can ask an experienced Oklahoma City injury attorney for help understanding your rights and benefits under this system.