We're here to answer all of your questions regarding the workers' compensation process, benefits, personal injuries, and any other concerns you may have. Contact our office to discuss your case in further detail.
Generally speaking, your employer is subject to the Workers' Compensation Act and should have workers' compensation insurance if it has three or more employees regularly in service at any one time. As long as you can establish an "employee-employer" relationship, you should be entitled to protection under the Act. There are some exceptions; call for further details.
If you are injured on the job, you should notify your employer immediately, or as soon thereafter as practicable. You are not entitled to medical or income benefits until notice is given. If you do not give notice within 30 days of the accident, you will not be entitled to compensation unless there is a justified reason for the delay.
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Your employer may contend you were an “independent contractor” rather than an employee, or that your accident did not arise out of and in the course of your employment. They may contend that you are not disabled from working as the result of your accident, or that your medical condition and disability are the result of a preexisting condition. Other common defenses include, but are not limited to: willful misconduct, horseplay, intoxication, and misrepresentation of your medical history during the hiring process. Call us to discuss the facts of your particular case so we can help identify the defenses your employer may raise.
If you are injured on the job, your employer must pay your "medical expenses," and part of your lost wages if you are disabled from working for more than seven days because of your injury. If you are unable to work at all because of your injury, you may be entitled to "temporary total disability benefits," subject to a maximum statutory amount depending upon your accident date. If you are able to work but suffer a diminished earning capacity because of your injury, then you may be entitled to "temporary partial disability benefits". You may also be paid for any "permanent partial disability" rating assessed for the loss of a part or member of your body, or for partial loss of use of the body. If your injury is designated as "catastrophic," you will also be entitled to "vocational rehabilitation benefits."
The amount of your weekly benefit depends upon the average weekly wage you earned prior to your accident. Temporary total disability (TTD) benefits are payable at the rate of 2/3 of your average weekly wage, subject to a statutory maximum amount, for a period of no more than 400 weeks from the date of your accident. Temporary partial disability (TPD) benefits are payable at the rate of 2/3 of the difference between what you earned before your accident and what you earn after your accident, subject to a statutory maximum amount, for a period of no more than 350 weeks from the date of your accident. Different guidelines apply if your injury is designated as “catastrophic.”
Generally speaking, your employer does have the right to choose the doctors they pay to treat employees who have been injured on the job. If your employer has posted a Panel of Physicians at your place of employment, or has contracted with a Workers’ Compensation Managed Care Organization certified by the State Board of Workers’ Compensation, your choices for a treating physician may be limited. Under certain circumstances, you may be able to choose your medical provider(s). Call us to discuss your particular situation so we can help ensure that you receive the medical treatment you deserve.
We can evaluate your case to ensure that you obtain the most advantageous settlement. If all parties agree to participate, your case may be settled through mediation. All workers’ compensation settlements must be approved by the State Board of Workers’ Compensation before any settlement proceeds are paid by the employer and insurer.