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Congratulations! You have jumped through all of the legal hurdles that blocked the progress of most workers’ compensation claims. The legal advice of a license employment law attorney made the difference between winning your claim and trying to find ways to make financial ends meet.
Yet, you are not out of the proverbial woods. The workers’ compensation program of your state has decided you deserve money for the negligence of your employer in the workplace. The question remains: What are the benefits you receive for an injury of illness caused by your workplace?
What is Workers’ Compensation?
Workers’ compensation represents one of the oldest forms of public assistance created by the United States government. The program provides cash benefits for employees that develop workplace injuries or illnesses. Each of the 50 states implements measures to help workers recover financially from debilitating illnesses and injuries caused by employer carelessness. For most cases, workers receive compensation for suffering injuries and illnesses, regardless of who was responsible for the health issues. The implementation of workers’ compensation reduced the number of lawsuits filed by employees against negligent employers. Although class action lawsuits still move through the United States legal system that involve employer negligence (think radiation exposure), a vast majority of worker claims against employers legally settle through workers’ compensation claims.
Expenses Covered By Workers’ Compensation Benefits
Workers’ compensation benefits do not provide enough financial resources for you retire. The system to take care of injured and sick workers is primarily meant to help defray the costs of losing time on a job. From lost wages to mounting medical bills, the employment safety net ensures workers do not suffer financial losses caused by workplace accidents and environments.
Workers’ compensation benefits cover the following expenses:
- Healthcare caused by an injury or illness
- Survivor benefits to family members
- Income lost by losing the capability to perform at work
- Permanent injury
Workers’ compensation benefits typically do not include payments for the ambiguous term “Pain and Suffering.” However, a growing number of workers’ compensation claims pay for employee rehabilitation that involves some type of work on reducing pain and suffering.
How Much Does Workers’ Compensation Pay?
Workers’ compensation pays on average about 70% of a worker’s annual wage rate. Most states place a limit on the amount of benefits an injured or seriously ill worker receives. The cap on workers’ compensation is the main reason why class action lawsuits remain relevant in employer carelessness cases. However, there is no cap on long-term disabilities, such as recurring back problems and Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. Eligibility for receiving lost wages typically occurs within a few days an employee misses work because of an injury or illness caused by employer negligence.
Employees Covered By Workers’ Compensation Law
Most classes of workers are eligible for workers’ compensation benefits. Yet, most states exclude some worker classes from receiving benefits.
- Business Owners
- Independent Contractors
- Railroad Employees
- Maritime employees
- Employees of Private Homes
Workers’ compensation programs do not over workers of businesses that employ five or fewer people. Federal workers receive workers’ compensation coverage under federal, not state law.
The decision whether to sue an employer for workplace negligence or file a workers’ compensation claim should involve the legal advice of a licensed employment law attorney that specializes in workers’ compensation cases. An accomplished workers’ compensation lawyer helps clients receive the maximum amount allowed under state law. Contact a licensed employment law attorney today for a free consultation about your workers’ compensation benefits.