Understanding Scheduled vs. Unscheduled Workers’ Comp Benefits
Regardless of how safe a workplace is or how careful an employee is as they work, accidents happen. In fact, the National Safety Council reports that roughly 7 million Americans are injured on the job each year, which equals 540 injuries each hour (or 1 worker each second).
When an employee is injured while on the job, this injury will either be classified as “scheduled” or “unscheduled,” depending on the severity of the injury. This classification also helps to determine the amount of workers compensation they’re awarded.
Under Georgia law, regardless of whether the injury is scheduled or unscheduled, most injured workers are eligible for workers compensation benefits.
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Scheduled work injuries
Scheduled work injuries include such injuries that result in permanent damage to a worker. Most commonly this type of injury involves lost limbs and organ damage.
For scheduled injuries, the amount of workers compensation you receive will be determined by doctors and the policies set by the insurance companies. The process can last weeks before you will begin seeing compensation.
Examples of scheduled injuries
Loss of limbs, eye damage, and hearing loss are all common scheduled injuries. Other scheduled injuries include:
- Ankle injuries
- Arm and leg loss
- Elbow injuries
- Foot injuries
- Hip injuries
- Knee injuries
- Shoulder injuries
- Wrist injuries
Scheduled injury compensation
Georgia, like many other states, has a comprehensive list of scheduled injuries and includes the workers compensation information for the specific injury.
For example, losing a limb or organ fully will entitle an injured worker to the maximum number of weeks of compensation the injury is scheduled for. On the other hand, a partial body part loss depends on a formula that multiplies the number of weeks their specific injury can receive compensation by two-thirds of their weekly wage amount.
Unscheduled work injury
By comparison, an unscheduled work injury involves employees who experience injuries to their neck, shoulders, and/or occupational diseases. Rather than having a set timeframe for compensation based on the body part injured like a scheduled injury, unscheduled injury benefits are based on how badly the injury sustained will impact the worker’s ability to earn money over the rest of their life.
This means that an injured worker could file for compensation and find out that they aren’t actually entitled to compensation.
Common unscheduled injuries
Unlike scheduled injuries, unscheduled injuries don’t include accidents that result in loss of limb or organs. That said, common examples of unscheduled injuries include:
- Back injury
- Traumatic brain injury (TBI)
- Head injury
- Lung injury
- Neck injury
Unscheduled injury compensation
Unscheduled injury compensation is also based on a formula determined by the particular body part that is injured. Your physician will base your disability on how impaired they believe you are and the compensation will be awarded by this percentage.
For example, let’s say an employee hurts their back and that injury (were it a 100 percent injury) is evaluated as impairing the worker for 300 weeks. In a second scenario, let’s say the treating physician determines that the worker has only injured their back by 15 percent. This would mean they’re entitled to compensation for 45 weeks.
These complications are why it’s so important to hire an experienced workers’ comp attorney to help handle your case.
Insurance companies are notorious for using non-standard figures to try and save money and reduce the amount of money an injured worker receives. When you’re trying to recover from a serious workplace injury, the last thing you want to have to worry about is whether your best interests are being looked after or whether you’re going to receive the workers compensation you deserve.
If you or a loved one have been injured on the job and you want to ensure that you’re receiving all of the compensation you deserve, contact a reputable workers compensation attorney near you immediately.