If you have been injured on the job, you have rights under the law as an injured worker. You are entitled to benefits that must be paid by the insurance company.
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1. Medical Expenses. The workers’ compensation insurance carrier must pay for your medical treatment. Unlike health insurance, there is no deductible and no co-pay. The insurance company has the right to direct medical treatment and will choose your authorized treating physician. If there is a problem with that physician, I can request that your treatment be changed to another doctor. You also have the right to a second opinion about any permanent disability rating and the right to request a hearing to resolve disputes about medical treatment.
2. Temporary Disability Benefits. If your injury causes you to be out of work for more than seven days, you are entitled to receive disability payments while you are out of work. If you are not able to earn the same wages as before you were injured, you may also be entitled to be paid based on the difference in wages. Your disability payment will be two-thirds of your average weekly wage. It is very common for the insurance company to make mistakes that cause injured workers to receive less than the amount they are supposed to receive. I will investigate your benefit amount and make sure that you are not getting cheated by the insurance company.
3. Permanent Disability Benefits. If you do not completely heal from your injury, your doctor may assign a permanent partial disability rating that entitles you to payments. If you are not able to return to work at all, you may be entitled to lifetime benefits.
Common Questions about Workers’ Compensation Issues.
Q. Do I need an attorney to help me with my case?
A. Every case is different. I can give you a free consultation to evaluate your case. The laws are complicated and an experienced workers’ compensation attorney can protect your rights. The insurance adjuster is paid to protect the interests of the employer and the insurance company and you need someone on your side to protect your rights and benefits. In some cases, I will tell people that they do not need an attorney. If you are having trouble with receiving benefits from the insurance company, you need an attorney to fight for your benefits. If there are questions about whether you can return to the same job after your injury, you need an attorney to protect your rights. I have been helping injured workers for over twenty years. I have the experience and knowledge to fight for you and protect your rights.
Q. Can I lose my job because I filed a workers’ compensation claim or if my injury caused me to miss work?
A. No. The laws prohibit an employer from terminating an employee for filing a workers’ compensation claim or for exercising any of your rights under the workers’ compensation Act.
Q. What happens if my injury keeps me from returning to my old job?
A. If you are unable to return to your job because of your injury, you are entitled to continuing benefits for as long as you are disabled. You could be entitled to continuing weekly benefits for as long as it takes for you to return to work in another job.
Q. What if the accident that caused the injury was my fault?
A. Workers’ compensation benefits are not fault based. That means that you are entitled to receive benefits for job related accidents regardless of who is at fault.