Injured on the Job? Now What?
Were you injured in a work-related fall, accident or working conditions? When you are injured at work, your employer has a type of insurance called workers’ compensation. These are specific benefits that the law says that they must offer to their employees. How does it work?
Let’s say that you were injured in the warehouse while using heavy equipment or that you were exposed to a chemical routinely that gave lasting damage. These types of incidents would qualify you for workers’ compensation. Basically, any time that you get hurt on the job you would be eligible. But sometimes the paperwork is not that easy. You need to fill out paperwork as soon as possible. The injury must be documented and supported by medical care and their associated records. You need to fill out a claims form either provided by your employer or downloaded from the web. If you don’t fill out the form, the process doesn’t begin.
The ways that an employee can be covered by the insurance is broad, but there are limits. For example, if your state has specific regulations regarding drugs or alcohol and the employee is considered to be under the influence at the time of the accident, then benefits may be denied.
Workers’ compensation payments will typically cover:
- Medical care relating to the injury sustained
- Any missed income due to the injury
- Compensation for any injuries considered permanent (loss of a limb, etc.)
- Benefits to surviving spouse or children if workers are killed at work
- Any costs to train for a new position
However, workers’ compensation benefits do not cover pain and suffering. Employees who use and receive workers’ compensation payments may not and cannot sue the employer. The wage the employee receives while recovering is typically two-thirds of the employee’s regular wage but there are caps on the amount paid. Benefits are not subject to withholding tax.
Some types of employees are also excluded from workers’ compensation insurance such as independent contractors, business owners, volunteers, some union employees (railroad, maritime, etc.) and farmhands. To find out your coverage and to get advice on your situation, contact a workers’ compensation attorney to find out what you options are.
If you are having trouble navigating the process of filing a claim than contact an attorney at Waitz & Downer right away. Waitz & Downer offer personal injury services to the Thibodaux and Houma, Louisiana areas. Their experienced attorneys will make sure you receive any benefits that you are entitled to.