Every worker in Oklahoma rightfully expects that they will be safe in the workplace. However, the reality is that sometimes incidents occur on-the-job that results in injuries. When this occurs, most injured workers will be able to fall back on the workers’ compensation system. But, those workers may have more questions than answers when they face this situation.
For starters, why is the workers’ compensation system in place? Well, there are two main reasons. First, by being covered by workers’ compensation an injured worker will be able to recover some financial resources when said worker is unable to continue to work due to an on-the-job injury. Second, the employer benefits because, by participating in the workers’ compensation system, the employer is typically immune from legal action resulting from an on-the-job injury.
Next, it is important to understand which workers are covered by workers’ compensation and which are not. The biggest factor here is whether or not a worker is considered to be an “independent contractor.” If so, that worker usually is not covered by the workers’ compensation system.
Lastly, one of the most common questions is what to do when an on-the-job accident causing injury actually occurs. The most important thing for injured workers to do is to report the incident to the employer as soon as possible. Such reporting is subject to time-sensitive requirements and, if a worker does not report an incident in a timely manner, that worker may be barred from receiving workers’ compensation benefits. After reporting the incident and injury, the injured worker can move toward getting the much-needed financial resources that workers’ compensation benefits can provide.