Depending on your work field, your job can be hazardous to your health in the short and long run. Even years of sitting calmly at a desk as a receptionist can lead you to develop diseases like carpal tunnel syndrome. You may hold the misconception that you can’t do anything as it wasn’t an injury in the workplace, but you’re entitled to compensation for every work-related injury, ailment, or disorder. The law protects all workers in such cases, and we’ve compiled all you need to know about the specifics. If your work has decreased your quality of life, here’s what you should know about workers’ compensation claims:
What A Workers Compensation Claim Covers
A successful workers comp claim will cover the following expenses for you:
You are entitled to receive your medical expenses if you get injured or disabled because of work. These will include all costs incurred to treat your injuries, such as costs of ambulance, emergency room visits, surgeries, and medicine. Ongoing care, like physical therapy, will also be covered if your injury is too severe.
In many industries, exposure to harmful chemicals can lead to workers developing diseases. Similarly, going to work can worsen the incidence of illnesses like COVID. Repetitive injuries, like carpal tunnel syndrome, also occur because of work. Your treatment in all these cases will be covered.
Remember that your employer or their insurance company will have a say over which healthcare provider will treat you. If you opt to get treated by your own doctor, you may not be reimbursed in some instances.
A worker’s compensation claim also covers a considerable portion of the wages you’ll miss because of your injury. For instance, if you sustain a cut on your hand while working in a restaurant and take a week off, you’ll receive a part of the weekly wages. Most of the time, this is two-thirds of the average weekly rate at the time of the injury.
Death/Fatal Injury Benefits
Work-related injuries in sectors like construction can be fatal. In such cases, the deceased’s family is entitled to funeral and burial costs, along with financial support that they lose with an income earner’s death.
States have different laws about which family member to prioritize regarding financial support provision, but generally, dependents, like a spouse or children or aging parents, get priority.
What’s Not Covered
You have to remember that workers’ compensation claims do not cover contractors and freelancers. States have different nuances, so you must research your state properly before filing a claim. In general, it won’t cover injuries that are:
- Related to alcohol consumption and drug abuse
- Sustained after you’ve been fired
- A consequence of company policy violations
Similarly, the costs of hiring a replacement worker, independent contractor injuries, and OSHA fines.
Nearly all states make it mandatory for employers to let their employees know about policies regarding workers’ compensation claims. Do not hesitate to file a claim if you’ve been wronged. Reach out to specialized and dedicated workers’ comp lawyers instead of big firms that won’t pay you the specific attention and compassion that such cases need. They’ll help you out in these tough times so that you can focus on recovery.