NAVIGATING THE PROCESS
Most people go to work to do their job, collect their paycheck, and carry on with life. They never expect an injury while on the job or how to deal with what happens once they experience a work-related injury.
Most states in the U.S. require employers to carry workman’s comp insurance in case an employee experiences a workplace injury. And it happens more frequently than you might imagine.
In 2017, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics said that 2.8 million workplace injuries occurred or 2.8 workers out of every 100 had a workplace injury.
If you have had an injury at work, you need to know how workman’s comp works and what you should do to get the benefits you deserve.
What is Worker’s Compensation?
Worker’s compensation is a benefit for an injured worker. It can cover the cost of medical care because of injury. The insurance can also cover necessary rehabilitation care because of a workplace injury.
If a worker is unable to work because of the injury, the insurance can cover lost wages. In the event of workplace death, paid compensation goes to the family of the deceased.
Who is Responsible for Workman’s Comp Insurance?
The employer purchases the worker’s comp insurance plan. They do this to protect themselves in the event that one of their workers experiences an injury on the job.
The insurance policy will cover costs associated with a workplace injury and protect the employer. If you are injured on the job, find out if your employer has coverage. Many policies also cover legal expenses for the employer in case an employee sues because of their injury.
Most states require businesses to have workers compensation insurance, but coverage requirements vary from state to state.
What Should I Do If I Am Injured at Work?
There are several important steps to take if you experience a workplace injury. These steps will help to protect your rights and get you the benefits you deserve.
Follow these steps:
- Report your injury to your boss at work.
- Seek medical treatment for your injury.
- Faster treatment means faster recovery.
- Treatment also documents the injury.
- In many cases, you need treatment initially by insurance approved doctor.
- Consider also seeing your doctor. The insurance company doctor may create a conflict of interest. Getting a second opinion is important.
- Learn about your possible benefits because of the injury.
It is important to remember the employer pays for the workman’s comp insurance. You need to be certain you are getting the most benefits by protecting your rights as an employee. Learn more about your rights by contacting a workman’s compensation attorney.
Types of Compensation Settlements
If you are injured on the job, there may be several ways you are covered by the workman’s comp coverage. The coverage can depend on the type of injury you sustain.
The injury may be temporary in which case you may need benefits for the time it takes to recover. If you sustain a more permanent injury, the benefits you need may more comprehensive.
Lifetime Medical Benefits
Lifetime medical benefits cover an employee who has a lifelong injury or disease created from their workplace. It covers costs associated with injury or disease.
Continued medical treatments are one type of benefit. The benefits might cover prescriptions or therapy. It should cover the necessary transportation costs incurred because of the injury.
This type of benefit should cover all those out of pocket expenses associated with the injury or disease an employee obtains from their workplace.
In the event your injury prevents you from continuing to work, wage replacement benefits can cover all or partial wages while you are not working.
Laws and benefits vary by plan and state. But if you are out of work because of the injury, you should be eligible to get lost wages from workman’s comp.
Once a medical doctor clears you to work, then the wage replacement benefits stop too.
Permanent Total Disability
This coverage protects you if you experience a permanent injury while at work. Examples of a permanent injury include a loss of limb, loss of mobility or paralysis or another debilitating injury.
This coverage gives you permanent disability compensation because your injury is permanent and not one you can recover from.
Permanent Partial Disability
Permanent partial disability covers a partial disability. Maybe the injury is temporary. It might be a partial disability, like a partial hearing loss, that requires some continued disability coverage.
Sometimes, this kind of disability comes in the form of a lump sum payment. This might mean you were not paid on time or what you should have been paid. You might agree to take a lump sum payment for the partial disability you incurred while on the job.
This type of benefit protects your spouse and children. If a person is killed while on the job, death benefits are paid out to surviving family members as compensation for the workplace death.
If you have a loved one who died on the job, you might want your own legal representation to protect your rights. They can help you to navigate the workman’s comp system. Your legal team can also make sure you are getting all the benefits you are entitled to because of the tragic workplace death.
Your Workman’s Comp Case
Most people want to go to work and do their job. But if you experience an injury because of your job that prevents you from working, you might need to get help navigating the process.
You want to be sure you are getting all the benefits you deserve in your workman’s comp case. Remember, the employer hires the insurance company who pays out the benefits. As an employee, you want your rights protected.
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