Mandated by the Workers’ Compensation Act, the Workers’ Compensation Board (WCB) exists to help employees injured on the job. WCB aims to rehabilitate injured workers by offering them medical benefits and a living stipend that’s a portion of their full salary, all with the stated goal of getting people back to work as soon as possible.
WCB: What You Don’t Know
A key component of the workers’ compensation system is legal immunity—“participating employers and workers have immunity against lawsuits for work-related accidents by others who participate in this system”. The Workers’ Compensation Act provides no-fault compensation to workers in exchange for legal immunity for all negligent employers and workers covered under the Act. No fault compensation and legal immunity means you cannot sue workers, or employers for negligence if you are injured while at work—even if their negligence directly caused your injury. However, you can sue negligent employers and workers if you are not working at the time that you are injured. You can also sue negligent parties if you are working only if the negligent parties are not covered by the Workers’ Compensation Act. The determination of your status and the status of the negligent parties is determined by the WCB in accordance with the Workers’ Compensation Act.
In addition to shielding those responsible for your injuries, the WCB sets limits on your compensation. The WCB dictates what physicians you have to see in order to maintain your benefits, which medical costs are covered, and even how much of your salary you’re entitled to while injured. WCB’s focus on “employability not employment” allows them to get you off benefits even if you do not have a job to go back to after you have recovered.
Know Your Rights
The WCB aims to be fair, but life isn’t always fair. Interacting with the WCB isn’t always easy, quick, or clear—doubly so when you’re suffering from a debilitating injury that wasn’t your fault. The limits the WCB places on your income, and even your independence, should not be the end of your story.
An injured worker can only make a tort claim, if at least one of the at-fault parties is not a worker or an employer. In these circumstances, the WCB Legal Services department has carriage of the action. However, the injured worker does have choice of representation. Therefore, you should consider whether retaining the Legal Services department, or an experienced personal injury law firm such as Pipella Law, is in your best interest.
The Workers’ Compensation Act severely curtails an injured workers’ rights to a tort action. You deserve dignity, respect, and compensation for injustice. You deserve someone on your side that can help you navigate the complexities of the legal system. You need someone that can help you achieve the financial security you’re due when tragedy strikes. You should never have to suffer due to the careless actions of others.
If you have suffered a personal injury, and you have a right to tort compensation, contact the personal injury lawyers at Pipella Law today to learn how they can help you recover from this traumatic experience.