A workplace accident is one of the most confusing and stressful events that can happen to you. How did this happen, how will this affect my job, and most importantly, how much financial compensation will I receive to cover my medical bills and lost wages? Here is a brief guide on what to expect when filing a workers’ compensation claim.
1. Determining Eligibility for Workman’s Compensation
First, a bit of good news: almost every business must have workman’s compensation coverage available to cover expenses for on-the-job injuries.
The bad news is that it may be harder to get your claim covered than you expect. The biggest issues usually revolve around proving that an accident was work-related, and that it was beyond your control. In other words, did your actions or negligence cause the accident, and can the injuries you are claiming be traced to a specific incident or reasonably be caused by a repetitive action?
Timing in filing a claim may also be a complication that you don’t expect. An injury may not be apparent immediately after an incident, so it’s imperative that you file a claim as soon as possible after an incident, whether you feel “injured” or not.
If your employer has workers’ compensation covered and you’re a covered employee who has sustained an injury on the job, you’re eligible to file a claim.
2. Will My Wages be Covered if I am Unable to Work?
An approved claim will cover some portion of your wages if you are unable to work. In Maryland, temporary total disability (TTD) will cover two-thirds of your weekly wages, with a maximum weekly benefit of $1080.
If you’re deemed temporarily partially disabled and cannot return to your full job function, you may be assigned part-time work or a light-duty job. This may result in a reduction of your wages. Partial disability wage coverage is generally 50% of the difference between the amount you are being paid at your temporary position and your average full-time wages.
In addition, depending on the extent of your disability following the injury, you may be eligible for permanent partial disability (PPD). This amount of this compensation depends on what body part was affected, and how much the body part is impaired. PPD awards are calculated based on the impairment, expressed as a percentage, times a set amount of time expressed in weeks.
3. Will My Medical Bills be Covered?
If your worker’s compensation claim is accepted, all of your medical bills will be covered 100% with no out-of-pocket expense to you. This includes doctor visits, rehabilitation, hospital costs, and prescriptions.
Workmans’ compensation also covers any medical equipment you will need during the recovery process, including things like wheelchairs, crutches, prosthetics, medical appliances and devices, and even ramps, bathroom safety accessories, and other modifications necessary for your home and vehicle.
4. What if I Can No Longer Work in My Industry?
If your injury prevents you from working in your industry, financial workplace compensation, you will be eligible for vocational training to train for a job in another industry. These services will include counseling and help in determining a new job interest and job placement services.
5. Pain and Suffering
Workman’s compensation insurance will not directly provide a pain and suffering settlement. You are, however, able to file a personal injury case in court to determine if your injuries warrant a pain and suffering award.
Don’t Leave it to Chance
If you’ve been injured on the job, it’s best to hire a workers’ compensation attorney to negotiate with the insurance carrier, and to help determine what additional compensation you are eligible for. Remember that insurance companies are not on your side and will frequently attempt to settle for far less financial compensation than you deserve.
The Law Office of Arthur Crum, PA, will review your case free of charge, and there is no payment for any attorney fee or expenses unless your case is awarded and approved by the Workers’ Compensation Commission. Contact us today.