According to the most currently available data from the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics, workplace injuries and illnesses affected 2.7 million people. The BLS report showed that worked-related injuries and illnesses affected people in all industries, including health care, construction, and retail sales.
So essentially, if you work, you are at risk of being injured on the job.
Most states have laws providing injured workers benefits through workers’ compensation insurance provided by their employers. However, processing delays that prolong the time that workers must go without benefits take a financial toll, and a denial of a worker’s claim for benefits may lead to a lengthy appeals process that only serves to further exacerbate an already difficult situation for an injured worker.
There is, however, a way to obtain financial relief through pre-settlement funding.
Pre-settlement funding companies like Oasis Financial advance funds to give eligible workers much-needed money to use to catch up on past due bills while their workers’ compensation claim goes through processing.
Some insightful information about workers’ compensation and pre-settlement funding may help you decide whether getting a cash advance would be right for you.
An Overview Of Workers’ Compensation
Workers’ compensation is a government-mandated program that pays the medical expenses and lost wages of workers injured or ill because of work-related accidents or conditions. Practically all states have some form of workers’ compensation system in place to benefit workers.
Before workers’ compensation, workers suffering injuries at work had to sue their employers to recover the cost of medical treatment and their lost wages. Workers have ready access to medical care and reimbursement for lost wages through workers’ compensation systems in exchange for giving up the right to file lawsuits against their employers.
However, workers retain the right to sue third parties other than their employer, who may be at fault for causing them to be injured at work. For example, the manufacturer of a defective piece of equipment or machinery may be sued by an operator injured because of a malfunction.
Another, perhaps more common, example of third-party liability involves motor vehicle accidents. For example, suppose you are traveling for work and suffer an injury in a motor vehicle crash caused by another driver. In that case, you have the right to file a personal injury lawsuit to recover damages.
The fact that you were engaging in a work-related activity at the time of the accident lets you file a claim to recover workers’ compensation benefits for a workplace injury. A personal injury attorney can be an excellent source for legal advice and representation when the negligence of a third party causes a workplace injury.
Common Types Of Workplace Injuries
Smart business owners realize that preventing on-the-job injuries through programs designed to enhance workplace health and safety maintains overall productivity by keeping their employees at work instead of at home. Some of the common types of workplace injuries that safety programs can focus on preventing include:
- Falls from heights and falls caused by slipping or tripping
- Electrocution and electrical shocks
- Prolonged exposure to loud noise
- Exposure to hazardous substances and conditions, including extreme temperatures, radiation, asbestos, and chemicals
Burns, traumatic brain injury, fractures, lacerations, and sprains and strains are only a few of the injuries that workers in all occupations face daily. For example, an office worker standing on a ladder to reach a file stored on a high shelf is at as significant a risk of suffering an injury in a fall as a construction worker.
The Process Of Filing A Workers’ Compensation Claim
Each state administers its own workers’ compensation program, so there may be slight variations in the procedures you must follow to file a claim and recover benefits. As a general rule, state laws protect workers who file compensation claims against retaliation by an employer.
Suppose you suffer an injury or illness related to your work. In that case, the first step you need to take is to report it to your employer or the insurance company that issued the workers’ compensation policy covering your place of employment.
State laws differ when you have to file a claim, but the best practice is to file it immediately after the injury or illness and not wait. Waiting too long may prevent you from receiving benefits you would otherwise have received had you filed a timely claim.
Typically, your employer will have a form for you to complete with details about the accident or condition that caused you to become ill or be injured. Whether the completed form is filed with the insurance company or with the state workers’ compensation agency depends on the law in your state.
Once it receives your claim for benefits, the workers’ compensation insurance company investigates whether to approve or deny it. The time allotted for an insurance company to analyze and make a decision about your claim varies from state to state.
California, for instance, gives the insurance company up to 90 days to decide your claim, but you may receive up to $10,000 in medical care while waiting regardless of the eventual decision.
If a claim is denied, states have a process to appeal the adverse decision that may include filing a lawsuit to challenge it in court. Check the law in your state about appeals of workers’ compensation claims to ensure that you do not miss the deadline to file an appeal.
How Can Legal Funding Help When You Have A Workers’ Compensation Claim?
Lawsuits challenging adverse outcomes of workers’ compensation claims take time to make their way through the courts. The same is true for third-party lawsuits against negligent drivers, manufacturers, property owners, or other parties responsible for causing you to be injured while working.
While you wait for a settlement of your lawsuit, a cash advance from a legal funding company makes it possible to pay for food, housing, and other living expenses. All it takes is for you to complete a simple online application followed by an evaluation of your claim to find out if you qualify for pre-settlement funding.
The process does not involve a check of your credit or your ability to repay the advance. The funding company makes its decision based solely on your claim for benefits from which the cash advance and interest will be repaid. There is no personal obligation on your part to repay the cash advance in the event of an unfavorable outcome of your lawsuit.
If you have a workers’ compensation or third-party lawsuit pending, pre-settlement funding helps overcome financial challenges while waiting for a settlement. Legal funding involves costs, including interest, so before applying, compare rates and terms of different pre-settlement funding companies.