The Benefits of Workers' Compensation
If you have an accident during the course of work, you may be eligible to receive money for your injuries. This is called workers' compensation.
The benefits of workers' compensation include compensation for disability, both temporary and permanent, as well as payment for medical bills. If you believe you have a legitimate workers' compensation claim, you should notify your employer immediately and speak to a workers' compensation lawyer..
Types of Workers' Compensation Benefits
Injured workers may be entitled to a number of different types of benefits, regardless of whether the employer was at fault for the accident. The specifics of these benefits, however, will vary from state to state.
In general injured workers may be entitled to compensation for:
- Medical bills
- Permanent partial disability
- Total disability
- Temporary disability during the time you are unable to work
In the case of temporary disability, pay is usually a percentage of your previous actual earnings.
Types of Covered Injuries
There are four basic categories of injuries that are eligible for workers' compensation. These categories are:
- Occupational disease
- Mental injuries
- Repeated trauma injuries
- Traumatic physical injuries
Traumatic physical injuries are by far the most common types of injuries that result in workers' compensation claims. These injuries occur from a single incident.
Repeated trauma injuries are the second-most common type of injuries that result in workers' compensation claims. Unlike traumatic physical injuries, these injuries occur over a period of time. For example, if an employee must execute a repetitive motion along an assembly line every single day for several hours a day, the employee's hands, shoulders, elbows, and arms may become injured from the constant strain.
One way workers can claim compensation for mental injuries is when it is associated with a physical injury. Physical injuries can be emotionally traumatic, such as the accidental amputation of a limb. The financial effects of the physical injury, such as medical bills and time off work, only add to this mental stress.
You can also claim mental injuries if you witness something at work that causes mental stress, such as a co-worker's traumatic physical injury. In some states, just suffering excessive stress on the job can result in a legitimate workers' compensation claim.
Compensation for occupational diseases is available in some states for certain jobs. To collect this type of workers' compensation, you will have to prove that your illness could not have arisen from an ordinary life experience but rather from your job.
Getting Workers' Compensation Benefits
To get workers' compensation benefits, you must file a claim with your employer. You will only have a certain number of days to file the claim before your window of opportunity closes. This time period will vary from state to state.
The employer will then notify its workers' compensation insurer. If the insurer and the employer accept liability, then the claim will be processed and benefits will be paid out accordingly.
If the carrier and employer deny the claim, the employee can submit a claim to the proper state agency. This claim must be submitted within a specific window of time, which varies from state to state. If your initial claim is denied, you should consider hiring a workers' comp attorney to help you secure your benefits.