Workers’ compensation insurance provides benefits to employees who are injured while performing job-related duties. As a workers’ compensation lawyer in Jamestown, NY from a firm like Hurwitz, Whitcher & Molloy, LLP can explain, these benefits offer four distinct categories of coverage.
1. Medical Treatment
Workers’ compensation insurance covers all medical treatment costs due to a work-related injury, including:
- Hospital stays
- Physical therapy
- Assistive equipment
- Nursing services
Employees must file reports and seek medical treatment as quickly as possible following an injury to ensure coverage. However, with the exceptions of emergencies, injured workers might not choose the medical provider that treats them, depending on the insurance policy or state regulations.
Serious injuries can temporarily or permanently prevent workers from returning to work. Disability benefits cover a percentage of the wages an employee was earning at the time of the incident. This benefit’s specific amount and duration depend upon injury severity, the state where the employee lives or works, and the policy’s coverage details. Workers’ compensation may cover the following disability categories:
- Temporary total: This coverage usually applies when workers cannot perform any work but will fully recover and resume their roles. Workers receive a percentage of their pre-injury wages during their recovery period.
- Temporary partial: Workers who can resume other duties while recovering from their injuries will receive a percentage of their pre-injury salary during their recovery period. They may also receive a separate amount equal to the difference between their pre-injury wages and their temporary work wages when the latter work pays less.
- Permanent partial: Workers who sustain permanent injuries that limit the type of work they can perform can receive compensation according to the severity of their injuries. Most states place a cap on this benefit.
- Permanent total: Workplace injuries within this category tend to be the most severe and may result in workers receiving benefits until they retire. Workers may or may not perform some work, depending upon their states’ rules.
Workers who are permanently unable to perform their pre-injury roles may receive workers’ compensation benefits to cover their training for new jobs within the same company or a different company.
Workers’ compensation provides death benefits to family members of workers who die from injuries while performing their jobs. This workers’ compensation benefit pays a percentage of the employee’s wages or a fixed amount to an employee’s spouse, children, and dependants, depending upon the state’s rules. The benefit also covers funeral expenses.
A job-related injury could leave you with questions and concerns about how to pay your bills and support your family. Contact a workers’ compensation lawyer to discuss the benefits you may qualify to receive.