An Arizona employee, particularly if they have what seems to be a minor injury, may think it best just to handle the filing of a workers' compensation claim themselves. While this is the right of every Phoenix resident, a person may still want to think twice before staking out on their own. In many cases, it may be best to resist the temptation to cut out an experienced lawyer in an effort to supposedly save money.
Many Phoenix area workers who suffer workplace injuries will likely find themselves dealing with the Industrial Commission of Arizona. One part of this agency's role is to administer workers' compensation claims. This agency completes this role through two different sections: the Claims Division and the Administrative Law Judge Division.
Arizonans who get injured while on the job are, generally speaking, entitled to two benefits under the state's workers' compensation laws. First, they are entitled to have their medical bills compensated in full. Second, they are entitled to receive compensation for lost income if they wind up missing work for more than seven days because of an on-the-job injury.
Last week's post discussed how in Arizona, workers' compensation is the exclusive remedy for a Phoenix-area employee who gets hurt on the job. This means that, in exchange for being virtually guaranteed compensation to cover medical expenses and lost wages, a worker gives up his or her right to sue the employer for "non-economic" items like pain and suffering.
As this blog has mentioned before, in Arizona, a worker's "exclusive remedy" against his or her employer for injuries that he or she incurred while on the job is workers' compensation. While this will pay for medical expenses and a portion of a person's lost income, workers' compensation will not pay for other non-economic items like emotional distress or pain and suffering.
For those who work in construction and other businesses, whether a person is an "independent contractor" or an employee can make all the difference in the world with respect to how a person gets compensation for any workplace injuries.
Construction workers in Maricopa County, Arizona, put themselves at risk each workday in order to provide for their families. An Arizona construction site is usually a very busy place, and it is also a place full of dangerous conditions. A construction worker is particularly prone to a fall. Moreover, a worker can also injure himself or herself while lifting, or while being around heavy machinery or a power tool.
The readers of this blog probably realize that in Arizona, workers' compensation offer certain types of benefits to injured or ill employees when an employee's injury or illness is work-related. With some exceptions, these benefits are afforded employees even when the employee is partially or even completely at fault for the injury.
These days, many people are concerned about the source of the salmon they eat, the conditions in factories where their t-shirts are made, and the level of radon in their homes. When it comes to their own workplace, however, some people are less vigilant.
Arizona prides itself on the diligence and ingenuity of its workforce. But, when it comes to workplace safety, how do the state's employers compare with those of other states and the nation as a whole?