Alternatives to Workers' Comp After Accidents in the Workplace
When accidents in the workplace occur, an employee may suffer a work-related injury. Fortunately, in many instances work injuries are covered by workers' compensation. Workers' compensation provides financial assistance to injured workers by compensating you for medical bills and for any loss of wages while you are recuperating from your injury.
However, it can take some time until you begin receiving workers' comp payments. Oftentimes, there is red tape to deal with before a claim is finalized. If you need money while waiting for your claim to be processed, there are some workers' comp alternatives you can rely on for financial assistance.
Types of Accidents in the Workplace
There are a number of types of accidents in the workplace that are covered by workers' comp benefits. However, the specifics of workers' comp policies and laws are different from state to state, so it is important to consult with a knowledgeable workers' comp attorney if you are unsure if your injury is covered.
Both physical trauma resulting from a single incident and physical trauma resulting from repeated trauma are often covered. An example of repeated trauma is when a worker on an assembly line must repeat a task over and over again, resulting in worn ligaments and tendons over time.
In many states, mental injuries are also covered. These can be a result of a physical injury, such as when a worker suffers from depression after being disabled. They can also occur if the employee witnesses another employee suffer severe physical trauma at the workplace, such as an accidental amputation.
Finally, workers' comp will sometimes cover diseases that arise due to a certain type of occupation or workplace.
Social Security Disability
Although it is difficult to claim Social Security disability, you may be able to receive such payments if your injury is severe enough. To receive these benefits, you typically must be disabled to a point where you can no longer work in any job. In addition, your workers' comp benefits combined with your Social Security benefits cannot exceed 80 percent of your average earnings immediately prior to your accident.
If you are interested in collecting Social Security disability benefits as a result of accidents in the workplace, you should contact your local Social Security office.
Health & Disability Insurance
If you have medical costs as a result of your workplace accident, you may be able to rely on your health insurance to cover all or some of these costs.
Some people may also have disability insurance through their employer. If you have an accident in the workplace, disability insurance will often begin paying out within one to six months after an injury occurs.
Credit or Mortgage Insurance
Some people may have tragedy insurance that they paid for through their credit card or mortgage company. Review the terms of your contract to see if you have this type of coverage available to you.
You may be able to collect unemployment benefits while waiting for your workers' compensation claim to pay out. To collect these benefits most states require you to be capable of doing some amount of work and to be actively seeking a job. To find out more about collecting unemployment benefits, you should contact your local unemployment office.
Under the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA), your employer may be forced to find a job for you at work that you are capable of doing in light of your injury.
Sue a Third Party
If your workplace accident was caused by a faulty piece of equipment or a work-related car accident, you may be able to file suit against a third party to try to collect compensation for medical costs, lost wages, and pain and suffering. If you believe you have been wronged by a third party, you should contact a lawyer as soon as possible to assist you in filing a case.