Injured at work? Here's what you need to know about workers' compensation. This slide deck will answers the biggest questions people have about workplace injuries, such as: Can I be fired after getting injured at work? Can I change jobs while on workers' comp? Does my employer have to hold my job while on workers' comp? Can I collect unemployment while on workers' compensation? Is workers' comp and disability the same thing? Can I sue an IME doctor?
If you have been injured on the job and have any concerns about applying for workers’ compensation or if you have been fired or laid off, contact our legal team at KBG Injury Law.
Top 30 Things Employees Should Know About Being Injured at Work
Top 30 Things Employees Should
Know About Being Injured at Work
What Is Workers’ Compensation?
Workers’ compensation is insurance that employers
are required to have in case an employee suffers an
injury while on the job.
Why Does Workers’
Before workers’ compensation laws were developed
and implemented, injured workers had to rely on
time-consuming and costly lawsuits in order to get
the help they needed.
Workers’ compensation laws were developed to limit
the suffering endured by injured workers and to help
them to receive compensation quickly.
Who Qualifies for Workers’
You must be considered an employee to qualify for
Even if you don’t work full-time, if you lack control
over some aspects of your employment, such as your
hours, you can still qualify as an employee.
Additionally, if you do not advertise your services
outside of your workplace and do not have any other
clients, you may also be considered an employee.
Who Does Not Qualify for
Freelancers, contractors and volunteers are
examples of positions that usually do not qualify as
“employees” even though they work with a company,
although this is not always the case.
Other examples of jobs that may not qualify for
workers’ compensation include seasonal workers,
part-time workers, farm workers, taxi drivers and
What Should I Do If I’m Injured on
If you are injured on the job, it is important that you
take action immediately.
Report your injury to your manager right away and
take the steps necessary to file a workers’
Can I Opt to Sue if I’m Injured at
Workers are generally barred from suing their
employers for workplace injuries, although there are
a few exceptions.
You can file a lawsuit if your employer deliberately
hurt you or if your employer has inadequate or no
workers’ compensation insurance.
Generally, filing a workers’ compensation claim is
going to be the preferable choice since it cuts out the
unpredictability of a lawsuit and allows workers to
begin receiving financial compensation for their
How Do I File a Workers’
Report the injury to your supervisor immediately and
ask someone at work to contact emergency medical
services if your injury is serious.
Start the documentation process right away and take
note of everything, including when the injury occurred
and your symptoms. If possible, take pictures with
your smartphone for accurate records.
Request to see a doctor. You may also wish to
contact legal counsel early on in the process.
Formally report the injury and ask for and complete a
What Injuries Are Often
Workers often overlook smaller scale work-related
injuries like hearing loss, lung problems, hand injuries
and back pain.
Any injuries caused in part or in whole by your
working conditions may qualify you for workers’
If you think your work atmosphere could be directly
causing a physical problem that you are
experiencing, it is advised that you contact a workers’
What Are the Common Mistakes
That Injured Employees Make?
Workers often wait until the pain becomes
unbearable before they report. Delayed reporting
creates problems in getting benefits started.
Many injured workers also do not know the
particulars of the different kinds of benefits they may
be entitled to. Contacting legal counsel is one of the
best first steps you can take if you are injured at
What’s the Difference Between
Unemployment and Workers’
Workers’ compensation benefits are designed to help
you through the process of recovering from a work
injury. You will only receive checks during the period
your doctor says you are unable to work.
You may qualify for unemployment if you are able to
return to work but your employer has had to replace
you and cannot offer a suitable alternative position
for you in your post-injury state.
Can I Collect Workers’
You cannot generally collect unemployment while
you are receiving workers’ compensation benefits.
However, you may qualify for unemployment benefits
in the case that your employer has no position
available for you after you have been out on workers’
What’s the Difference Between
Workers’ Compensation and
Workers’ compensation is provided through your
employer’s workers’ compensation insurance.
State disability benefits are provided through the
state government if you are injured away from work
but cannot work at your normal job as a result of that
Can I Collect Workers’
Compensation and Disability?
Workers’ compensation benefits are applicable
unless your condition becomes permanent.
You may even be entitled to permanent disability
benefits after your workers’ compensation benefits
State disability can also step in if your employer is
disputing whether or not you should receive workers’
compensation, and will compensate you until the
dispute is resolved. You will have to pay that money
back if your workers’ compensation case is
Does Workers’ Compensation or
Disability Pay More?
Injured workers generally stand to gain more from
workers’ compensation benefits.
Workers’ compensation benefits are tax-free,
whereas income tax is applicable with disability and
Workers’ compensation pays for all medical
expenses from a work-related injury, with no
limitation or deductible. They also tend to last much
longer than other benefits.
What Is a Lump Sum Settlement in
Workers’ Compensation Cases?
If you are receiving workers’ compensation, you may
also be entitled to a lump sum settlement from the
Lump sum settlements take into account the
involvement of benefits and insurance programs such
as Social Security disability, retirement benefits,
Medicare and Medicaid benefits and Public
Assistance in your case.
An attorney will often be able to obtain a larger lump
sum for you, so it is a good idea to contact legal
Can I Be Fired After Getting
Injured on the Job?
An employer cannot discriminate against an
employee as a direct result of their being injured.
However, if you cannot return to your position or
business demands that the position be filled, it is
possible that your employer can replace you while
you’re on workers’ compensation.
Does My Employer Have to Hold
My Job While I’m on Workers’
An employer does not have to hold your position for
you after you have been injured unless an
employment contract or union is involved.
However, an employer cannot discriminate against
you based solely on the fact that you were injured, as
this qualifies as retaliation. If you think this is the
case, you should contact legal counsel.
Can I Receive Workers’
Compensation If I’m Fired?
If you are fired while recovering from an injury, the
workers’ compensation insurance company does
have to continue compensating you for wage loss
and medical benefits.
It is important that you do not voluntarily quit or
accept a voluntary lay-off, as this will affect your
ability to collect wage loss benefits.
Can I Collect Unemployment If I’m
Fired While on Workers’ Comp?
Normally, you cannot receive both benefits at the
same time, and your workers’ compensation will
continue even if you’re fired, so long as you are still
However, if your doctor deems you unable to return
to work, you may be entitled to unemployment
benefits if your employer cannot offer you a position
suitable to your post-injury capabilities.
Laid Off vs. Fired: Does It Make a
Difference for My Workers’ Comp?
If your company has to lay off employees while you
are out on workers’ compensation, you are not
immune to being included in those layoffs, but your
benefits should not change.
If you are fired for not being able to return to your
current position, you will still receive workers’
compensation. If you are fired because of other
causes, such as a rule infraction, it is still possible
that you will be able to collect workers’
compensation, but not guaranteed.
Can I Choose My Own Doctor
After a Work Injury?
Many employers send their injured workers to one
specific doctor or facility.
By law, your employer must comply with certain
requirements in order to control the choice of what
doctor you see.
After 90 days of treatment with the company doctor,
you may seek treatment from another doctor, but you
must provide your employer with the name and
address of the new doctor within five days of your
How Long Can I Be on Workers’
There are state-by-state limitations on how long you
can receive workers’ compensation.
These limitations generally range from 3-7 years.
Beyond that, permanent disability benefits can be of
help, although some states terminate weekly benefits
after age 65.
Can I Change Jobs While on
You can change jobs while on workers’
compensation and, as long as you are still
recovering, it will not affect the benefits you receive.
Before accepting a new job, you should inform the
workers’ compensation insurance company and
complete and return any needed paperwork.
If you will be earning less at your new job than the
job you held when you were injured, you may also be
eligible for a partial wage loss benefit.
Can My Doctor Send Me Back to
Work If I’m Still Injured?
Your doctor may send you back, despite if you still
have pain, if the doctor believes you have reached
Maximum Medical Improvement.
If you feel that you’ve been sent back to work
prematurely and are not well enough to return, you
should contact a workers’ compensation lawyer.
What Should I Know About
Returning to Work With
Many times, employees who are still injured but are
deemed fit to work may be sent back with
restrictions. It is important that your employer honor
Even if you have returned to work but are on
restrictions, your benefits should remain the same.
What Should I Know About Going
Back to Work After Being on
Whether you return to work with restrictions or not,
you should receive a form entitled Notice of Ability to
Return to Work before a doctor can suggest you
return to work.
When you return to work, your employer or insurance
company may ask you to sign papers to receive your
final check and close out your case. It is important
that you do not sign any documents without a
workers’ compensation present to review those
documents and inform you of your rights.
When Will My Workers’
Compensation Benefits End?
A return to work will generally mean an end to
workers’ compensation benefits.
If you are experiencing a wage loss due to your
injury, you may be able to receive wage loss benefits.
What Is an Impairment Rating
An IRE is a medical examination that the insurance
company requests in order to determine your total
Depending on the results of the IRE, the period of
time that you can continue receiving weekly wage
loss benefits may be limited.
Generally, the insurance company cannot request
your attendance at an IRE more than twice a year.
You should not attend an IRE unless you first discuss
it with a workers’ comp lawyer.
What is an Independent Medical
An IME is an examination by a doctor who is chosen
by the insurance company to provide them with
opinions regarding the cause of your injury, the
nature of your disability and your future treatment.
An IME is not fully independent and you do not have
to accept treatment from this doctor. The insurance
company also cannot generally request your
attendance at an IME more than twice a year.
You should speak with a workers’ compensation
lawyer before attending an IME.
Can I Sue an IME Doctor?
The short answer is “yes,” but you have options here.
If you believe your IME doctor reported in bad faith,
you should seek legal counsel to discuss your
options. A workers’ comp lawyer may advise you to
be evaluated by another doctor and, if the results
differ, you can dispute the IME’s report.
Because IMEs are retained by an insurance
company, they are not fully independent. Therefore,
you should retain legal counsel throughout the
process to ensure that you are receiving the
Do You Need a Worker’s
If you have been injured on the job and have any
concerns about applying for workers’ compensation
or if you have been fired or laid off, click this slide to
schedule a free consultation to speak with one of