If you suffer a workplace injury and require workers' compensation benefits, you might disagree with the workers' compensation department on your injury's value. Understanding the factors determining your compensation can help you negotiate a better offer. Below are some of these factors.
Workers' compensation should cover all aspects of your medical treatment costs. For example, the benefits should cover the following:
- Emergency room costs
- Medication costs
- Surgical fees
- Physician consultations fees
- Physical therapy payments
- Medical devices costs
The main consideration is that you need treatment for injuries from your workplace accident. Workers' compensation covers both current and future treatment costs. The injury's nature and extent matter. For example, a limb fracture that requires surgical treatment may cost more than a sprained ankle that doesn't require such extensive treatment.
Workers' compensation pays part of your wages while you are recovering and unable to work. The wage-replacement benefit is a percentage of your weekly income, subject to specified minimums and maximums. The more you earn, the higher the wage replacement benefits. For example, a worker with $3,000 per week gets more than another worker with $1,000 per week.
Effect on Career
A workplace injury can affect your career if it leaves you with a disability that prevents you from doing your usual work. You may need to reorganize your workplace, gain additional skills, or require some other modification to work.
Consider a worker who needs both hands to operate a machine but loses one hand in an accident. The worker may need retraining to return to work at the same or move to another job. Workers' compensation should compensate the worker for the effect on their career trajectory.
Permanent injuries attract higher compensation than temporary injuries. For example, amputation is a permanent injury that usually attracts more compensation than temporary injuries. You lose your limb forever in the amputation but can heal from a fracture and regain the use of the limb.
Lastly, the treatment duration matters since it affects most of the above factors. For example, a lengthy treatment duration keeps you out of work for longer and attracts more damage than a short one. You must satisfy the workers' compensation requirement by proving that you need treatment for as long as you claim you do.
Consult a workers' compensation lawyer to help you pursue the benefits you deserve. A lawyer's involvement is even more necessary for complicated cases or extensive injuries where a mistake can cost you a lot of money.
Contact a local workers' comp attorney to learn more.