Your employer's workers' compensation insurance is a valuable and well-earned benefit. This type of insurance, at no cost to you, steps in when you suffer from a work-related injury and pays you a few types of benefits. In most cases, your medical bills will be paid in full, and you are allowed to stay home and recuperate before returning to your job. If your injury turns out to be more serious, however, the situation can be very different. To learn more, read on.
What about your salary?
Once you are approved for workers' comp benefits, you will no longer be required to work, but you can still earn some of your salary. This reduced amount (which can be approximately 70% of your normal pay) is better than nothing at all, but the reduced pay can create a tough financial situation. When your injury takes longer than expected to heal, you may really begin to suffer financially.
What if you do not get better?
The workers' comp carrier predicts how soon a worker will be able to return to work based on how quickly other workers returned in the past. If you come to a certain point in your recovery that exceeds the expected time for a return, the workers' comp insurance carrier may request that you undergo a medical examination. This exam is performed by a special type of workers' comp doctor with the sole purpose of determining how soon, if ever, you can return to work.
How to deal with a permanent injury
The worst-case scenario for an injured worker is being ruled to be at maximum medical improvement (MMI). This stage of benefits means that your are not likely to be able to return to your same job again, no matter how much more time passes and how much treatment occurs. MMI really means that you have a permanent injury. While you will be able to continue to receive the medical expense benefit, either through workers' comp or through another government program, like Medicaid or Medicare, the way that you are compensated undergoes a change.
What form of monetary compensation can I expect?
You may be offered some rehabilitative training, depending on the benefits available in your state, that could help you to retrain for a different sort of job. Additionally, the monetary portion of benefits will now change. You will be offered a settlement for your injury, and it can be either be lump sum (paid all at once to you) or the payments will be broken up into payments. You will receive these payments for the remainder of your life, but the amount could be reduced if you are able to perform other types of work.
The settlement negotiations for your compensation are important, so make sure that you have the support of a workers' comp attorney to help you get the maximum you are entitled to receive. For more information, contact a business such as Mordhorst Law.