If you sustained a workplace injury while working overseas, you may have legal recourse. Even with new communications technology, it is common for companies to send workers to foreign countries. Just as in the United States, workplace accidents occur while traveling on business. Fortunately, workers’ compensation legislation provides some degree of remedy for this type of scenario.
To file a workers’ compensation claim, the injury must be a personal injury connected to or in the course of employment, as long as the employment was a major contributing factor to your injury. The company that you work for is the primary insurance holder of such insurance, making compensation payable if you were injured while in another country.
Simply put, if your employer sent you to work overseas and while carrying out work duties you become injured, there is a good chance that you can file a valid workers’ compensation claim. Now, if your primary place of employment is in a different country, recouping loss of money for medical bills may be more difficult. In this case, you definitely need to hire a reputable attorney who can challenge the company.
Keep in mind that the U.S. company that you work for is required by state law to maintain workers’ compensation for almost all employees. Under federal law, similar insurance is mandated for most employees that are not covered by state law. As a result, your employer and you are protected in the form of workers’ compensation should you be injured on the job.
In exchange for guaranteed workers’ compensation benefits, which typically cover medical expenses, lost wages, and compensatory damages for temporary and permanent disability, you give up your legal right to file a lawsuit. However, in the event that your company did not have the appropriate insurance coverage or the insurance company wants to fight your claim, you need the assistance of an attorney who handles this type of case.
The National Council on Compensation Insurance Inc. (NCCI) manages workers’ compensation information, sets rates, provides analysis, and creates standard coverage forms for U.S. workers. The NCCI does not define coverage territory on the coverage form. Therefore, coverage extends to employer’s liability for employees “temporarily outside” of North America. Because “temporarily outside” is not defined, the insurance carrier is often left to determine if coverage applies to workers injured overseas.
While some instances of overseas work-related injuries are clear cut, others are quite complex. If you were seriously injured and required surgery or life-saving medical treatment, the repatriation expense endorsement covers additional expenses for transporting you to the nearest facility. After being stabilized, you receive additional assistance so that you can fly home for further or more appropriate surgery or medical treatment.
Sometimes, getting the insurance company to pay can be a difficult and lengthy process. This is why you need an attorney who understands insurance jargon and can push to get your claim finalized quickly. Whether your case is simple or complicated, having a reputable attorney on your side is the best way to recover compensation.