The Center for Disease Control (CDC) reports that roughly 213,000 slip and fall injuries occur in the workplace each year. Over 600 of these are fatal accidents. If you have ever slipped and fell at work you’ve probably seen the benefits of having worker’s compensation firsthand. You were likely able to get your medical bills paid for, get some money for missing out on work and maybe a little extra for your pain and suffering. In the end, you were able to get back to work without spending a lot of money out of pocket for your injury. But what if we were to tell you that your worker’s compensation was in jeopardy? What if your company could opt out of the money that they owe you when you get hurt at work? Well that’s exactly what’s happening in many states across the country.
Changes Taking Place
In most states every company is required to have worker’s compensation so that if any employees get injured on the
job they get taken care of. Bill Minick is the lawyer behind the new plan that he’s saying is actually going to benefit both employers and employees. He says by cutting out worker’s compensation laws as they currently stand, it is possible for businesses to write their own rules in regards to compensation and to take care of their employees in different ways that will save them more money in the long run.
What It Means For You
The truth of the matter is that when your company gets to set the rules about your recovery, you lose. Research facilities ProPublica and NPR have found that getting rid of worker’s compensation is definitely a big hit for employees (much as you probably would have figured). The employer is now able to set up their own rules instead of following traditional laws on the matter. That means they get to decide what gets covered and what isn’t. They also get to decide how long you get paid benefits or what the limits are for amount of money paid out.
What is worse for many is that your employer is able to decide far more than this:
- What doctor you see
- When you see your doctor
- How much money your injury is worth
- Whether your injury is worth anything
- And a whole lot more
Why Companies Switch
A number of companies are switching over to this plan because it’s saving them a lot of money. In fact, research shows that companies that get rid of worker’s compensation’s traditional plans are saving 40-90% in costs related to injuries. Now they’re saying that this is a benefit to the company but also to the employee. For Minick and the employers he represents, this is a way to reduce disputes and get you back to work sooner, but what if you’re not ready to come back to work? What if the benefits your company decided on aren’t enough to pay your medical bills? What if you need help?
There is a way to fight for more benefits or coverage when you’re injured on the job, but you are often required to work through a committee that is chosen by your employer and if you lose … well you just might lose all the benefits you were entitled to before you started fighting for more. Does that sound fair to you? We definitely don’t think that it sounds fair. Having to fight with your employer to get basic rights and help when you need it is something we’ve already taken the time and energy to fight. That’s why we have worker’s compensation in the first place.
If you suffer slip and fall injuries at your work, your company should be held responsible. Seek help from a qualified slip and fall attorney who can help you navigate the ins and outs of work related slip and falls.