Worker’s compensation laws lay out benefits that are available to employees injured on the job. They include lost wages and medical expenses. These laws serve to support employees who are injured on the job and potentially caught off guard with mounting expenses and reduced income or employment.
A worker’s compensation claim does not amount to a lawsuit against your employer. What it is is a request for benefits. Filing a claim is similar to filing any insurance claim.
Benefits of Worker’s Compensation:
Medical Care – Injured employees have the right to recover all reasonable and necessary treatment to cure or relieve the effects of the injury suffered on the job. These benefits include medical costs, prescriptions, and round-trip mileage to and from the hospital.
Temporary Disability Compensation – In cases where part of the injured individual’s medical recovery precludes active employment, worker’s compensation may entitle them to temporary disability benefits. These would include partial compensation for wages lost as a result. Maximum and minimum limits on these amounts may vary, but typically they amount to two-thirds of the employee’s average weekly gross pay. This benefit is paid out in two-week increments. Once your doctor has verified your inability to work, your first temporary disability payment is made within just a few short weeks.
Permanent Disability – Should the injured employee’s injuries be so severe that the impact is permanent, they might be entitled to a permanent disability award. Permanent disability simply means that the injured individual no longer has the ability to compete in the labor market of uninjured employees. The amount of this award is dependent largely upon the level of limitation the injury places on the individual’s activities. Age, profession, and income at the time of the accident typically also factor into the award amount.
Vocational Rehab – If, however, the injury prevents the employee from returning to their former position, worker’s compensation benefits may include assistance in acquiring another position. During the vocational rehabilitation period, the claimant may be given a partial income benefit. That benefit typically is limited to a maximum monetary amount but can be replaced with an offer for modified or even different work from the employer.
Other Avenues to Address On-The-Job Injuries and Damages
In addition to worker’s compensation, some employees in certain cases may be able to recover personal injury damages from their employer or even from a manufacturer (and other entities along the chain of distribution) for a defective product if that product has caused the injury. If the employer was negligent and failed to uphold their duty of care to that employee, it’s possible the employe may be entitled to personal injury compensation.
Instances where an employer fails to maintain a reasonably safe work environment (like a construction site with no standard safeguards) or if a product or piece of equipment proves faulty by design or by manufacture (or is sold without proper warning of that item’s inherent danger to the user), a products liability claim might be filed to recover compensation under personal injury law.
Being injured on the job can devastate anyone. Suddenly requiring medical care (in many cases serious medical care) and also suffering the loss (or reduction) in income as a result of an injury on the job can put most workers in an incredibly difficult place. However, worker’s compensation laws work to support employees when injuries on the job occur. And though worker’s compensation laws are limited, personal injury laws can also help recover damages to provide the medical care and employment compensation you need whether for a short time or for the long haul.
If you have questions about worker’s compensation and would like to learn more about how worker’s compensation and personal injury law can help compensate you for your injuries, please call Bizzieri Law Offices at 773.881.9000. We don’t collect a fee unless we win compensation for our clients.