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Workers' Compensation Facts

Accidents occur at work all the time. If you suffer a work injury, you may be eligible to collect money to cover the costs of your medical bills and to compensate you for the time you must take off of work. This is called workers' compensation.

There are a lot of misunderstandings when it comes to workers' comp, and it is possible for a worker injured on the job to be denied his workers' comp benefits. This is why it is important for you to know the facts about workers' compensation.

Work Injury List

There is more than one type of worker injury that workers' compensation may cover.

Specifically, workers' compensation benefits may cover the following for categories of injuries:

  • Traumatic physical injuries
  • Repeated trauma injuries
  • Mental injuries
  • Occupational diseases

(Exact coverage may vary from state to state.)

The most common type of work injury is traumatic physical injuries. These are injuries that arise out of a single incident of physical trauma. For example, if a forklift operator accidentally crashes the forklift, the injuries caused by the accident are physical trauma injuries.

The next most common type of work injury is repeated trauma injuries. These are injuries that develop over time as a result of repeated exposure. For example, a data entry professional who must type all day may eventually develop carpal tunnel syndrome. This injury did not result from a single incident but rather from repetitive typing.

Mental injuries are those that affect the mind. A mental injury may result as a side effect of a physical injury. For example, if a worker has become disabled due to a physical injury, he or she may become depressed as a result. Mental injuries can also occur when a worker witnesses another employee suffer severe physical trauma at work, such as an amputation. Finally, in some states, workers can claim mental injuries if their jobs create an extraordinary amount of stress.

Occupational diseases are outlined by state statutes and are not always covered by workers' compensation. If you have questions as to whether you can claim workers' comp benefits as a result of an occupational disease, you should consult a workers' comp attorney.

Facts About Workers' Comp Benefits

A work injury can result in a number of different types of benefits depending on the severity of the injury. For the most part, workers' comp benefits compensate the injured worker for his or her medical costs and for lost wages due to time off because of the injury.

The amount of money an employee will receive will vary from state to state. Generally, however, there are several types of disability that workers' compensation covers:

  • Temporary total disability
  • Permanent partial disability
  • Total disability

If you are temporarily disabled, you may be able to receive a percentage of your actual earnings from before the injury. As for how permanent disability is defined, that will vary from state to state.

Applying for Workers' Comp

You should file a workers' compensation claim with your employer as soon after your injury occurs as possible. State laws may provide only a limited time period in which to file a claim. The employer will then file the claim with its workers' comp insurer.

The insurance carrier and your employer may immediately opt to accept your claim and provide you with the proper payout. However, they may also choose to deny your claim, meaning you will not be able to get compensation for medical bills or disability.

If your claim is denied, you should speak to a workers' compensation attorney and take measures to file a claim with the appropriate state agency. The agency will then review your records, which includes detailed information about your work injury, to determine whether your employer's carrier should have actually accepted the claim.