Workers Compensation Evaluation Form
Overview of Workers' Compensation Laws and How to Get Financial Benefits
When someone suffers an injury in the workplace, the process of pursuing financial assistance and restitution for medical expenses and lost income is unique. How so? Well, the applicable laws and protocols are outside the typical personal injury claim and fall into the “workers’ compensation” system.
What Exactly is Workers’ Compensation?
Generally, workers’ compensation is considered to be a “no-fault” system established in most states that address injuries that occur within a place of employment. An employee could potentially pursue workers’ compensation benefits if they suffered a specific bodily injury during the workplace or an injury developed over the course of time due to repetitive job responsibilities. An employer is legally obligated to carry a workers’ compensation insurance policy that covers all employees.
Benefits Available Through a Workers’ Compensation Claim
When someone files a workers’ compensation claim, they are able to get reimbursed for expenses related to medical treatment, disability payments while they cannot work, permanent disability benefits if a claimant is unable to fully recover from their workplace injury, along with a myriad of other benefits.
Assessing the Viability of Your Workers’ Compensation Claim
You might have a worker’s compensation claim that should be pursued if you meet the following factors:
- You suffered an injury in a workplace accident or your injury occurred over time due to your work responsibilities; and
- You pursued medical treatment for job-related bodily pain, stress, anxiety, and/or depression
Addressing Common Workers’ Comp Questions
When someone suffers a serious injury in a workplace accident or is diagnosed with a condition that was proximately caused by their job duties, there are an array of questions and concerns that inundate the employee’s mind. For example, an employee may ask themselves, “Can filing a workers’ compensation claim result in me getting fired?” and “If I file a workers’ compensation case, will I still get paid?”
These questions, and many others, are important and should be addressed sooner rather than later so you understand what steps need to be taken to obtain necessary medical treatment and financial benefits.
Regarding the risk of being fired for filing a workers’ comp claim, please be advised that it is against the law for an employer to fire or retaliate against an employee simply because they filed a worker’s comp claim for a workplace injury. If your employer retaliated against you because you simply filed a workers’ comp claim, you may be entitled to additional forms of compensation.
Regarding the issue of whether you will still get paid if you file a worker’s comp claim, the answer is yes. You will receive compensation either through your employer’s insurance company that is providing a workers’ comp policy or you will receive financial benefits through the state.
Here are answers to other common questions asked in regards to workers’ compensation claims:
What will I have to do when I file a workers compensation case?
Your main responsibility is to see a doctor for evaluation and treatment for your injuries, which your attorney will refer you to. It is possible that the insurance company will ask to take your deposition. Finally, should your case go to trial, you may need to be available to testify. However, very few cases end up going to trial.
What type of settlement can I get through a workers’ compensation claim?
Your settlement depends on a variety of factors, however, the biggest determining factor will be the extent of your injuries. The worker’s compensation system is designed to compensate you for how much your injury has disabled you. Therefore, much of the value of your case will be based on your disability, which a doctor will help determine. Future medical treatment necessary for your injuries also helps determine the value of your settlement. Regarding your future medical care and treatment, you will have the choice to either have the insurance company pay the future medical treatment for your injuries for the rest of your life, or have them buy out that projected cost in a lump sum settlement.
What type of injuries does workers’ compensation cover?
There are two types of injuries that typically qualify for workers’ comp benefits: (i) specific bodily injuries and (ii) continuous trauma injuries.
Regarding specific bodily injuries, this is considered to be a type of injury suffered as a proximate result of a specific incident or accident that inflicted significant harm to you. Here are some common examples of specific event injuries:
- You pulled or tore a muscle while lifting a heavy item or object
- You slipped and fell at the workplace
- You were involved in a car accident that occurred while working
- You were injured while using workplace equipment or tools, such as machinery, a forklift, equipment, cleaning supplies, etc.
- You suffered an electric shock or were electrocuted due to an exposed wire at the workplace
In addition to specific event injuries, there are continuous trauma injuries. This type of injury is not caused by a specific, identifiable accident or incident. Instead, your injuries were caused by performing repetitive duties over the course of time. Continuous trauma injuries typically go unnoticed and may even be undiagnosed over a period of time. Common examples of continuous trauma injuries include:
- Chronic pain in your fingers, wrists, arms, elbows, or shoulders as a proximate result of performing computer-related work such as data entry or analytics.
- Chronic pain in your neck or back due to sitting in an uncomfortable position for an extended period of time.
- Chronic pain in your back, legs, knees, or feet due to having to stand up for extended periods of time while at work.
- Chronic pain develops in any part of your body due to performing repetitive tasks while at work, such as frequent lifting, bending, kneeling, overhead reaching, grasping, gripping, pulling, pushing, sitting, standing, and so forth.
Other Injuries and Conditions Eligible for Workers’ Compensation Benefits
It is important to understand that workers’ compensation benefits are not limited to individuals who suffer bodily injuries at the workplace. In fact, there are numerous psychological, emotional, and degenerative harms and conditions that may serve as a viable worker’s comp claim. The key is whether the condition has impacted your ability to work and the condition occurred as a result of your work. Some examples include:
- Severe anxiety
- Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
- Hypertension and high blood pressure
- Lung damage or neurological problems from exposure to fumes and chemicals.
- Vision loss
- Hearing loss or hearing damage due to exposure to loud noises while at work
- Rheumatoid arthritis aggravated by a bodily injury and/or stress in the workplace
- Degenerative knee conditions due to performance of repetitive activities such as heavy or awkward lifting
- Degenerative back conditions due to performance of repetitive activities such as heavy or awkward lifting
- Degenerative shoulder conditions due to performance of repetitive activities such as heavy or awkward lifting
Regardless of your injury or condition, NextLegal.com can advise you on what benefits you may be entitled to. Take action today by contacting us to schedule a free, confidential consultation.
Ready to Take Action?
If you or a loved one was injured while at work, NextLegal.com is ready and able to help. We can assist you with your workers’ compensation case by providing insight and advice on what steps need to be taken to pursue financial benefits through the workers’ comp system. Complete the contact form to schedule a free confidential consultation.