If you incur an injury while at work, you might be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits, which can include payments for medical expenses and lost wages. Regardless of whose fault it was, you are eligible for workers’ compensation. In return for these benefits, you cannot bring claims against your employer for damages in tort.
Basic eligibility requirements for workers’ compensation:
- You must be an employee.
- Your employer must carry workers’ compensation insurance or potentially be directly responsible for payment if they should have had coverage but did not.
- You have sustained an accident or illness at work.
- You should report the injuries and file a workers’ compensation claim as soon as possible.
These special rules can apply to some categories of workers, including domestic employees, agricultural workers, casual or seasonal workers, and workers placed with an employer by temp agencies.
Types of Workers’ Compensation Benefits
Medical Care & Treatment: workers’ compensation covers medical costs that are directly linked to workplace injury. The most popular category of medical benefits includes the treatments of physicians, medications, and operations. If you require additional equipment to support you with your accident, such as a wheelchair, you would possibly be protected by workers’ compensation benefits. In some cases, workers’ compensation will also cover psychological treatment, physical therapy, and acupuncture.
Rehabilitation Benefits: rehabilitation benefits can pay for medical and therapeutic care (such as physical therapy) necessary for your recovery from the injury or sickness. They will be responsible for the continuing medical treatment and retraining services.
Suppose your illness or disability prohibits you from returning to your former job. In that case, many states allow vocational rehabilitation or similar forms of benefits to pay for the assessment, retraining, tuition, and other expenses required for you to get qualified for another job.
Disability Benefits: disability benefits are intended to cover your salary when you cannot work because of an illness or an injury. There are various forms of coverage for the disabled depending on the type of disability:
- Temporary total disability: prohibits you from working for a short period of time. You have a current, total impairment, but you may be able to return to work in the future. Temporary disability benefits terminate if you no longer have the disability.
- Temporary partial disability: when you are temporarily disabled, you cannot perform the whole of your regular job for a limited period of time. Likewise, your doctor can say that you should only operate for four hours at a time while recovering from your injury. A wide variety of assistance is offered in most state initiatives to help people reach a position of economic security.
- Permanent partial disability: entails any partial disability that substantially impairs an individual’s ability to perform job duties. States are usually only able to compensate people for a certain amount of damage.
- Permanent total disability: means you can’t do your job due to accident, sickness, or illness. Determining permanent and absolute disability payments according to the laws is quite difficult and varies from state to state.
How can a lawyer help with the workers’ compensation benefits?
Lawyers can help identify the issues that are outstanding and, most importantly, speed the process. A lawyer can evaluate a specific workers’ compensation lawsuit to ensure the employee obtains sufficient compensation for the injuries. The lawyer can determine the extent of harm from the physical injuries and investigate the company’s corporate safety record.
Moreover, a lawyer understands different strategies used by insurance firms. Workers’ comp lawyers are more likely to participate in productive talks with the insurance firms than a person negotiating without an attorney.