After one hundred years of workers’ compensation laws being on the books to protect workers, there are still those who must fight for the benefits to which they are entitled. Despite many advances in working conditions, there are employers out there who would rather save a few bucks than provide the coverage that is required by law. What happens to those workers who are injured on the job but have to deal with a boss who doesn’t want to pay?

The first thing you must understand as an employee is the right to work in an environment free of hazards. Naturally certain industries pose a greater risk of injury or danger due to the type of work performed, however employers should take every step possible to eliminate or reduce hazards in the workplace. Secondly, with a few exceptions, all employers must pay for workers’ compensation insurance to ensure their employees have coverage in the event of an accident in the workplace. If your employer does not have workers’ compensation insurance and they are required by law to do so, you may be able to receive compensation from your employer themselves.

The most important thing you can know when dealing with a workplace injury is how to handle the moments, days, weeks and sometimes months that follow. Do not allow pressure in the workplace to prevent you from getting the treatment you need for a speedy recovery and long term good health. Even if your boss is not supportive of filing a claim, understand that what you do immediately after an accident in the workplace will determine whether or not you receive compensation in the long run. Always report your injury to your boss and seek medical attention if needed. If the accident is a result of negligence on the part of your employer, you may be entitled to additional compensation.