Workers’ Compensation Overview
- Health care for the injury or illness.
- Indemnity benefits (money) as a partial substitute for lost wages if you are unable to work due to the injury or illness.
- Workers’ compensation benefits do not include payments for pain and suffering
- If it is an emergency, get help and emergency care first.
- Tell your supervisor that you were in an accident, no matter how minor you think the accident was or even if you think you may not be injured.
- Fill out a Notice of Accident form. Forms should be provided by your employer and posted where you work. Notice of Accident form can be downloaded here. You must fill out the form (or give notice) within 15 days of the accident.
- Seek medical care. Ask your employer which doctor you should see (if you need emergency care, go directly to the hospital). Your employer has the right to choose a doctor for you at this time or to allow you to choose. Tell all doctors this was a work-related injury.
If your injury occurred at work, it is usually covered. If your injury develops over time, such as carpal tunnel syndrome, or as a result of continued exposure to environmental conditions, it may be covered if the eventual injury or disease was caused by work. Injuries occurring while commuting to or from the employer’s location (place of employment) often are not covered, but injuries that occur while you are traveling for work purposes usually are covered.
Indemnity (money) benefits
After you reach “maximum medical improvement” (the point at which continued medical improvement is not expected), your benefits will be changed based on the impairment rating provided by your doctor and your ability to return to your pre-injury job. Seek legal advice when your doctor starts discussing “maximum medical improvement” to ensure that you are receiving the maximum amount of indemnity (money) benefits available to you.
Applying for Unemployment benefits does not prevent you from receiving Workers’ Compensation benefits.
- to help pay for debts that you have accumulated since your injury;
- if you have returned to work earning at least 80% of your pre-injury wage for more than six months; or
- you want to settle your claim
Accepting a lump sum payment can result in you giving up future benefits or forfeiting large amounts of money that may be owed to you. Do not agree to a lump sum payment without consulting an attorney or calling our firm.
Enforcing your rights
If you are considering filing a complaint, you should call our firm. Our firm will prepare and file all required paperwork, represent you throughout your claim against the attorneys hired by the Employer and their insurance company, stay by your side during the entire process, and work to provide you the maximum benefits available to you.
If the parties do not come to an agreement, the mediator will write a recommendation. If either party ‘rejects’ the mediator’s recommendation within 30 days, the Complaint will be referred to a Workers’ Compensation Judge. You will receive a trial date, where you will be required to present evidence to a Workers’ Compensation Judge to prove your claim.