A workers’ compensation accident is simply an accident resulting in a physical injury arising out of and in the course of employment. Therefore, the first question is whether the injured worker was indeed an employee. Some workers are independent contractors or owner-operators who are not covered by the workers’ compensation law. The next question is whether the Employer had enough employees to require workers’ compensation insurance. The law requires the Employer to have 3 or more employees. Presuming the injured worker is an “employee”, and the Employer has 3 or more employees, then the occupational accident and injury will likely be covered under workers’ compensation.
The next consideration is how “bad” or how “severe” the injury is. Herniated discs requiring surgery; amputation of limbs, nerve damage, or closed head injuries are obviously severe injuries. However, carpal tunnel syndrome or repetitive injury claims can be just very debilitating and may cause the employee pain from working. Additionally, the employee’s injury results in physical limitations or “light duty” work status where the Employer cannot accommodate the work restrictions, then the Employee may be entitled to income benefits.
Before discussing income benefits, it is important to note that the injured employee is entitled to medical benefits furnished by the Employer. These medical benefits include x-rays, MRI’s, medical visits, specialized treatment, hospital visits, prescription medication, and mileage reimbursement.
With regard to income benefits, the injured worker may be entitled to 2/3 of his or her average weekly wage up to $500 per week.
In my experience, there is no “good” workers’ compensation case as no one desires to be injured. However, if honest employees are injured on the job, they are entitled to immediate medical benefits and potentially income benefits. It is generally accepted that the insurance companies will attempt to limit the workers’ treatment and prevent the payment of benefits. These insurance companies have trained “adjusters” and lawyers on call to handle any claim. To level the playing field, it is best to have an experienced advocate fighting for you. If you have been injured on the job, please call Ramos & Law for your free consultation.