Posted on behalf of Henness & Haight on Jan 22, 2015 in Workers' Compensation News
When you are hurt on the job, it can be a horrible experience. The embarrassment and shame that you feel, coupled with the pain of recovery, are tough to go through. Even worse, applying for workers' compensation can be a difficult process, with many legal loopholes and bureaucracy to navigate. If you suffer an accident at work that results in injury, here are the basics of what you need to know to get the compensation you deserve and get through your recovery process.
Workers' compensation is a form of insurance that is state-mandated and carried by an employer. This form of coverage is designed to protect and help employees who have been injured or suffered a disability related to their job. Each state has its own form of workers' compensation. Thus, it is important to get information about your state's individual regulations before you move forward with a claim. Generally speaking, workers' comp covers an injured employee regardless of fault for the accident. Often, since this is a form of insurance, injured workers cannot sue their employee for injuries covered under the plan.
Compensation insurance covers those injuries resulting from carelessness in the workplace. There are a broad range of injuries covered, and these vary from state-to-state. Generally speaking, workman's comp covers the following expenses: Doctor's bills for medical treatment Supplies and medical assistance Disability related to the injury Long-term or permanent disability benefits Replacement of lost income Any retraining costs that arise when you return Death benefits for dependents
Under the plan, the normal wage replacement allowed is up to two-thirds of the average wage of the worker. There is, though, a maximum cap over which you cannot receive benefits. While this may seem low, you are not taxed on wage replacement benefits. Who is Eligible? Most classifications of workers are covered by this form of insurance. Many states, however, exclude some workers, including: Business owners Contract employees Volunteers Employees who work in private residences Farmhands and Farmers Maritime workers Railroad workers Casual employees Federal employees have their own federal program and are not covered under state workman's comp insurance. Suing for Injury You can sue an employer if the action that caused your injury was reckless or intentional on their part. However, if you sue, you are waiving your right to normal workers' comp. A successful case may involve a wide range of damages from medical expenses to lost wages, pain and suffering and even punitive damages against your employer.
If you are injured at work, the first thing you need to do is report the injury to your employer as soon as possible and complete an incident report. Next, you should immediately contact a law firm with experienced workers compensation lawyers. Only an attorney will know how to properly navigate the rough waters of your state's laws and make sure that you receive all of the compensation to which you are entitled. If you have been injured on the job and need help, give us a call today. We are here to assist!