Workers’ Compensation: Benefits Available

Denied Social Security Disability

Workers’ Compensation: Benefits Available

Worker’s compensation is designed to protect workers who are injured on the job or become sick due to the conditions of their work.  Generally, there are three different types of compensation for any injury.  First, you are entitled to medical treatment for the injury.   The law states that the care will be provided by a doctor of the employer’s choosing or one chosen by the employer’s worker’s compensation insurance carrier.  If you choose your own doctor, you will bear that expense yourself.  Second,  if the doctor determines you are unable to work, you have a right to be paid two-thirds of your average weekly wage after a three-day waiting period.  Third, if the doctor determines you have some residual disability, you are entitled to a lump sum of money to compensate you for your disability. 

Often your attorney must fight to get your employer to acknowledge you were injured and pay benefits. If your employer believes you were injured, they may start paying you a weekly check and sending you to the company doctor.  They do not generally offer a lump sum money settlement for your disability.  Your attorney will file a formal claim with the Division of Workers Compensation and start working on getting your settlement.

Some insurance companies will voluntarily offer you a settlement.  Be careful of accepting a settlement based solely on the disability rating of the insurance company’s doctor.  It is not unusual for the company doctor to rate your disability lower than your own independent doctor would. This means a substantially lower settlement.  Your attorney will help you get a fair disability rating.

 Additionally, your attorney will help you to get the medical treatment you need, will make sure you receive continued medical treatment when the company doctor wants to send you back to work too soon, and may be able to arrange for payment of doctor’s bills that the insurance company would not usually agree to.

Some people are afraid to contact an attorney because they think it will damage their relationship with their employer.  It is against the law for an employer to fire an employee for bringing a worker’s compensation claim.  Since your attorney deals with your employer’s insurance company and not your actual employer, you don’t have to worry about offending your boss.

If you are concerned that you can’t afford an attorney to help you in your worker’s compensation case, you should know that lawyers take this type of case on a contingent fee of no more than 25%.  That means they have to win your case to get paid.  If no recovery is made, the attorney does not charge an attorney’s fee.

There are benefits available to those injured on the job.  To maximize your benefits, speak with your attorney and find out in greater detail about how your work injury should be handled.

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