Do I Qualify for Workers’ Compensation Benefits?
If you have been injured on the job, you may be wondering how workers compensation might be of benefit to you. There are many aspects to the program that you should be aware of before accepting payments. In addition, you may be best served by contacting a workers compensation lawyer who can provide you with more information specific to your situation.
The law provides that an injured worker must inform their employer of their workplace injury within a certain period of time. After that time, they can no longer apply for workers compensation benefits. If the worker opts to pursue a personal injury lawsuit against the employer or third party responsible for their injury, they must file it before the statute of limitations. These time limits for notifying the employer and filing a lawsuit vary by state.
Fault Is Not an Issue
If you are injured at work, you should qualify for workers compensation benefits even if you caused the accident due to your carelessness or negligence.
No Compensation for Pain and Suffering
Unlike personal injury lawsuits which allow the plaintiff to include pain and suffering as damages, workers compensation benefits do not provide compensation for the victim’s pain and suffering. Benefits are intended to cover medical treatment costs, a percentage of lost wages, medications, and necessary medical equipment such as crutches. A workers compensation lawyer can review your circumstances and determine if you may be eligible for additional benefits or payments related to your injury.
Cannot Sue the Employer
When an injured worker accepts workers compensation benefits, they must agree to not sue their employer for their injury. If you decide to pursue a lawsuit, then you must not have already signed an agreement for workers compensation. Talking to a work injury lawyer can help you sort through any confusion.
You Will Not Receive Full Wage Compensation
Even though you were injured while on the job, workers compensation benefits will not provide payments equal to your wages. Rather, it will be a percentage of your wages. This will vary by state and a workers compensation lawyer can provide you with more specific financial information.
You Will Have to See a Workers Compensation Board-Approved Physician
In order to qualify for workers compensation benefits, you will likely have to undergo an examination by a physician who is pre-approved by the workers compensation board. The physician will have to assess your injury, and the board will make a determination as to whether or not you qualify for benefits. Though you can see your own physician for an assessment, they will not have a bearing on your benefits unless they are also an approved doctor.