Workers Compensation

When someone is injured at work, he or she has a workers’ compensation claim. A work injury can happen while at the employer’s building, or if driving is part of the job, while on the road. It does not matter if anyone was at fault – workers’ compensation benefits are available. Indeed, an employee cannot sue his or her employer even if the employer’s fault caused the injury.

Injuries on the job include work accidents and “occupational diseases” such as exposure to chemicals. Recently, our State’s highest court has also recognized that there can be workers’ compensation claims for injuries that occur from the rigors of a particular job even if there was no distinct “accident.”

Workers’ compensation provides distinct types of benefits:

+ Medical benefits pay for medical care needed because of injuries from the work accident. These benefits are available for life.

+ Temporary cash payments (temporary total disability benefits) are paid while the employee is unable to work and is receiving medical care and improving. Once the medical care has gotten the employee as healthy as possible, then total temporary payments stop.

+ If the employee is not able to return back to work, he or she may be eligible for vocational rehabilitation assistance and more temporary checks.

+ If an employee is left with permanent residual injury, then he or she is entitled to either permanent partial disability benefits or, if he or she will never work again, to permanent total disability benefits.

If you have been injured at work, you need an attorney. Here are some reasons why:

+ An employee must give prompt notice of an accident to his or her employer and must file a special claim form with the Workers’ Compensation Commission.

+ In serious injuries, navigating the transitions from temporary total to vocational rehabilitation or permanency benefits can be very tricky. Workers’ Compensation insurers often push the envelope and cut workers off prematurely.

+ If there is a person who is at fault for what happened other than the employer, you could lose your right to workers’ compensation benefits or to suing the at fault person if you do not follow complex procedural rules. If you or someone you care about has been injured at work, please contact us. The employer’s workers’ compensation insurance company does not have your best interests in mind.