If you have been injured from a work-related accident, you may be wondering how you will provide for your family while unable to work. Your employer very likely offers workers' compensation insurance to you at no cost, and you are covered if you were injured while on the job. You are entitled to benefits including lost wages. Read on to find out more about how workers' compensation could help you to replace your salary.
You are entitled to a weekly percentage of your pre-injury pay, and though the amount varies by state, it is usually about 66.6% of your pay. These benefits are only available if you are unable to return to your usual job. Some states have different percentage-based wage compensation based on returning to work part-time or light duty.
You are in the "temporary disability" category until you reach maximum medical improvement or MMI. Lost wages are paid until you reach MMI, which means that a doctor has decided that have recovered as much as possible from your injury. At that point, your injury will be judged either a permanent total disability or a permanent partial disability.
Permanent Partial Disability
If a doctor has decided that you are unable to return to your same work, but can return to doing some types or levels of work, you will be ruled permanently partially disabled. This normally means that you can work part-time or at a more sedentary job.
You are entitled to a considerable amount of compensation if you have been determined to be permanently disabled. You must normally have an extraordinary injury, such as an amputation or brain damage, to qualify for this status. Since this ruling means that you are unable to work at all, the workers' compensation insurance company will offer you a settlement.
The amount offered in the settlement is based on a prediction of your future earnings had you not been injured, so your age and education comes into consideration. Be very cautious about agreeing to a settlement without conferring with a personal injury attorney, since you will be signing away your ability to sue your employer in the future.
Having a workplace injury entitles you to workers' compensation, but it does not offer any payment for your pain and suffering. Many times the lost wages payment and settlement offers are far less than you need or deserve. Contact a personal injury attorney or law firm like The Law Offices of Gregg Durlofsky for help to ensure that you are fairly compensated for your workplace injury.