Injuries that are sustained while you are at work can result in complications that require expensive medical treatments and render you unable to work while you are recovering. Employers are required to carry insurance to cover expenses related to on-the-job injuries, but many employees are unfamiliar with the details related to workers’ compensation.
Understanding workers’ comp coverage and knowing whether you qualify could mean the difference between struggling with mounting medical bills and being compensated for expenses related to a work injury. The following workers’ compensation FAQs will hopefully give you a better idea of how to approach some of the more common situations.
Does Workers’ Comp Cover More Than Medical Bills?
Initial workers’ comp claims typically cover immediate medical expenses related to the work injury. For example, an employee who was injured by machinery at work will be able to file a claim for the costs of emergency medical care at the hospital, consequential hospital stays and prescriptions or other at-home treatments that the discharging doctor recommends.
Long-term care is also covered by workers’ compensation as long as this care is necessary because of an injury that was sustained at work. Rehabilitation and ongoing prescription drug therapy would qualify for coverage.
Employees who are injured on the job are also entitled to disability payments that are usually equal to two-thirds of an employee’s normal salary. Injuries may render a person unable to work temporarily or permanently. The amount paid in the form of disability varies according to state law.
Many states allow an employee’s family members to collect workers’ compensation benefits if the employee is killed in a workplace accident. Spouses and biological children are covered, but stepchildren and unmarried partners may not be covered.
Do I Need To Be Injured At Work To Qualify?
Employees do not have to sustain an injury at work in order to qualify for workers’ comp, but the injury must be related to the job in some way. For example, an employee who is injured in a car accident while making deliveries may be eligible for workers’ compensation. Some states even allow for coverage when an employee is attending a business networking event as a representative of the company.
If an employee is injured while on an unpaid break, it is likely that the employee will not qualify for coverage. However, injuries sustained on business property may entitle the employee to compensation.
Preexisting conditions could be covered if damage is made worse by work-related activities. For example, past musculoskeletal injuries that reappear because of a work-related activity would qualify a person for workers’ compensation.
Long-term diseases and mental conditions that can be tied to a workplace incident allow a person to qualify for workers’ comp. Employees who are exposed to dangerous chemicals may be able to collect workers’ compensation if they develop a long-term illness like cancer. Mental conditions related to stress or trauma on the job are also covered by workers’ comp.
Getting Help With Workers’ Compensation FAQs
If you have been injured on the job and you are not sure what to do next, you need an experienced legal professional on your side. The attorneys at The Law Offices of Samuel Fishman are experienced with representing workers’ compensation claims, and will help you file a lawsuit to collect compensation. Since it is common for employers to try to deny workers’ comp claims, it is important for you to contact an attorney as soon as possible after sustaining an injury at work.
Our Workers’ Compensation Resources
External Workers’ Compensation Articles
US Department of Labor – Worker’ Compensation
US Department of Labor – Stats by State
Cornell Workers’ Compensation Overview
Workers’ Compensation Research Institute
Philadelphia Workers’ Compensation
Who is Eligible for Benefits?
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