Claiming worker's compensation is a right of every worker, which is why you shouldn't hesitate to file such a claim if you've been injured on the job. However, you may have some questions about your rights and what's involved in making such a claim. Note a few of those questions here and then discuss these with a compensation attorney if you still need more information.
1. What is a return to work program and suitable duties?
A "return to work program" is a program that employers should have in place to allow an injured worker to return to work in a way that accommodates their injury and recovery. This work is called "suitable duties," and it may include the same job but at reduced hours, or different duties but in the same general capacity. For example, someone hurt on a construction site might handle light duty on build sites, but wouldn't be transferred to an office to answer phones.
Suitable duties during a return to work program would not token work that has no value to the employer or that doesn't serve the employee. If you've been injured and have questions about a return to work program that your employer is insisting you join, discuss your options and your employer's rights with an attorney.
2. What if you were a volunteer or an apprentice?
If you've been contracted in some way to serve the duties of an employer, you are usually covered under their worker's compensation insurance policy. This can include those who are not actually paid a salary and those who work offsite, such as in remote locations. Don't assume that because you were a volunteer, apprentice, or had any position other than a paid employee that you're not eligible for compensation, but speak to an attorney about your case and get accurate, legal advice.
3. Are worker's required to get treatment for their injuries to qualify for compensation?
Generally speaking, you are required to get adequate treatment for your injuries in order to receive compensation. However, you may have some rights as to the doctor and treatment type you prefer. If you're uncomfortable with a recommended course of treatment for any reason and wish to choose a different doctor than one specified by your employer's insurance policy, talk to an attorney. While you do have rights over your own medical treatment, remember that the insurance company also has rights as to compensating someone who is not doing everything possible to heal and recover from injuries.