Each year, the global labor market records at least 340 million occupational accidents. Further, close to 2 million people succumb to work-related injuries every year. The trends indicate a worrying increase in accidents within the workplace.
The law protects you against loss of income resulting from work-related injuries. It’s essential to understand your rights as stipulated in the worker’s compensation laws. Involving a worker’s compensation lawyer is the best way to ensure that you get a legal reprieve.
Have you sustained injuries at work, and you aren’t sure where to start? A worker’s compensation lawyer can offer unmatched legal support. Here’s everything you need to know about worker’s compensation claims.
What’s Workers’ Compensation?
Workman’s comp provides employees with a form of insurance in case of accidents or illness. The legislation offers benefits to employees who suffer work-related injuries in the line of service.
A worker can also claim workers’ compensation if they contract occupation disease while working. The compensation is an exchange for the binding abandonment of the injured employee’s right to sue the employer for negligence.
A workers’ compensation cushions employees from the financial hardships resulting from work-related injuries. However, once the compensation process is complete, the employee must abandon any further attempts to sue the employer. Working with a worker’s compensation lawyer can help you conceptualize the spirit behind the workers’ comp law.
Types of Workers’ Compensation Benefits
The law is clear on the specific types of benefits provided for in the event of a work-related injury. Even so, there’re four distinct types of workmen’s compensation benefits common in most states.
Wage Replacement Benefits
Accidents and diseases at the workplace can quickly render a worker dependent on others for survival. The loss of employment income due to injuries leads to deprivation of income if proper planning for wage compensation lacks.
As such, the law provides for wage replacement. The provision seeks to offer reprieve during the period of incapacitation.
Temporary total disability benefits provide compensation for workers who cannot work, albeit in the short-term, due to work-related injuries. These benefits are equal to two-thirds of the employees’ standard wage at the time of the damage. Workers who return to work after recovering from the injury also qualify for this option.
You can also receive permanent total disability benefits as a worker. This kind of compensation is for employees who, due to work-related injuries, are never able to return to gainful employment. The rate for permanent total disability is two- thirds of the pre-injury wage agreement. Depending on the doctor’s opinion, such wages may last between seven years and a lifetime.
Most times, the doctors determine whether a specific injury is treatable. If the injury or disease is beyond any medical intervention, the employee might require a lifetime of wage compensation. The decision considers the fact that such employees may never work again following the accident.
Occupational injuries often force workers to spend considerable time bedridden or out of work. The period may be anything from a few weeks to 7 years. Such length in time can leave you as an employee feeling rusty and out of tune with the various processes and procedures.
The period of recovery can render any employee unsuitable to hold the previous position due to possible skill gaps. Such a turn of events is predominantly due to the rapid changes in the work setting. Vocational rehabilitation benefits exist to bridge this gap.
These programs offer a reprieve for recovering employees returning to their former jobs. Vocational rehabilitation includes retraining and on-job training for such workers. The idea behind such programs is to help injured employees to re-integrate back into their careers.
Medical treatment and pharmacy-related costs due to workforce injury and illnesses account for close to $232 billion every year. The cost of medical care can be overwhelming. This is more so depending on the extent of the damage.
Worker’s compensation laws compel the employers and the insurer to ensure reasonable medical care following a workplace injury.
The provision for medical care includes surgery, hospitalization, and therapy. Such medical care may also encompass chronic pain management.
Permanent Partial Disability
Severe work-related injuries may lead to permanent disability. These injuries might include the loss of a body parts.
It would help if you considered a workers’ compensation lawyer’s interventions for permanent partial disability. The permanent partial disability rating also comes in handy during the evaluation of the extent of the injury.
Accidents That Warranty Workers’ Compensation
Most employees wonder whether workers’ compensation covers all kinds of accidents. The good news is that all types of work-related accidents fall within this critical provision. Such injuries may occur while in the office or at the construction sites.
In either case, you only need to prove that you were in the line of duty. Accidents that occur while driving a car as an employee qualify as work-related accidents. Transportation incidents remained the most frequent type of fatal accidents in the year 2018 at 2,080 deaths.
Other common accidents include falls within the workplace. Accidents due to power tools also qualify for workers’ compensation. It would help to understand the categorization of these accidents.
Accidents related to equipment also fit into the description of work-related injuries. Your workers’ compensation rights should also encompass repetitive strain injury.
Types of Workers’ Compensation Claims
The main reason for seeking workers’ compensation is to receive financial recompense. Most of the common work-related injury claims fall into two broad options.
Claims for Workers Compensation Benefits
Workers’ compensation is the most common form of a claim. However, this option isn’t the only available alternative in case of an accident at the workplace.
It’s essential to consider credible advice from a worker’s compensation attorney. The consultation helps you understand the specific factors that might affect your compensation qualification.
A worker’s compensation benefits plan may have statute limitations. Depending on your state, the existing laws might have a cap on the value of medical benefits entitled to you.
Such an arrangement might have an implication on your compensation plan. The issue is most common in case of a permanent disability.
The second concern with a workers’ compensation plan is the issue of eligibility. You might have proof that you suffered an injury in the line of duty. Even so, specific reasons may still affect your eligibility for benefits.
If you are an independent contractor you might be in trouble while seeking compensation. Is your employer exempt from the state’s workers’ compensation requirements? This might lead to complications when seeking benefits.
The other dynamic is the possibility that your employer has opted out of workers’ compensation. Such cases may present a major hurdle for any employer seeking workers’ compensation.
Claims for Personal Injury Damages
Your worker’s compensation lawyer can understand your eligibility for personal injury damages. The resolve to take this direction is due to prohibitions in applying for worker’s compensation.
It’s essential to consider the benefits of assessing personal injury damages. The option is handy in case of trouble applying for worker’s compensation.
Personal injury claim provides coverage for immediate and long-term medical needs. Your worker’s compensation lawyer can also help you file claims for lost wages. Other aspects, such as enjoyment of life, should apply.
With the personal option, you have the choice to sue individuals and entities. Such an alternative goes beyond the limitations of workers’ benefits claims.
Main Reasons Why You Should Consider a Worker’s Compensation Lawyer
Four fundamental reasons exist that call for a workers comp lawyer. First, attorneys understand how the claims process works. It would be best if you hired a worker’s compensation lawyer. This is considering their familiarity with the compensation process.
A second a lawyer will also help you prepare for the case better than you could on your own. Your lawyer can also prevent possible retaliation from your employer. Most organizations tend to victimize employees following such legal claims.
The other reason is that most worker’s compensation lawyers take up cases on a contingent fee basis. Hiring a worker’s compensation lawyer ensures that you get a fair settlement. The outcome helps you get back to your original financial position before the accident.
A Worker’s Compensation Lawyer Is Your Best Friend During This Journey
The legal process when seeking compensation can be intricate. This is so even for the most informed employees.
Your medical bills can lead to impoverishment in case of an accident at work. Involving a worker’s compensation lawyer during the process can help ease your troubles.
This guide provides information for every worker considering a legal suit. Dealing with an injury after an accident can be draining. It’s helpful to leave the legal process in the hands of a trusted worker’s compensation lawyer.
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