Workers' compensation was created to help hurt workers get back on their feet. Unfortunately, the valuable benefits associated with this employer-provided insurance coverage are denied for some workers who actually deserve them. Read on to find out what you need to do when your workers' compensation insurance is not working for you.
Common Workers' Compensation Benefits
If your claim is approved, you can expect several benefits as a result:
1. Medical treatment with no co-pays or out-of-pocket expenses.
2. A disability wage that equals a certain percentage of your usual pay while you recuperate away from work.
3. A lump sum settlement if the accident or occupational illness results in a permanent disability.
4. Vocational rehabilitation to train for other positions.
Problems with Claims
Workers' compensation carriers are separate from the place you work and are privately owned and operated. That means they expect to make a profit from the premiums your employer pays to keep the coverage. That also can mean an occasional unjust denial of benefits for workers who are hurt or become ill while working at their jobs. If any of the following problems or situations get between you and the benefits you need, you might need to take legal action.
1. The claim has not been filed due to an employer delaying or refusing to file.
2. The claim has been denied for any reason.
3. The claim was approved but you are being ordered to return to work before you are fully healed.
4. The claim was approved but you are being denied coverage for needed treatment.
5. You have been ruled to have a permanent disability and the workers' compensation carrier is offering you a lump sum payment.
Hiring and Paying for an Attorney
Not all attorneys practice in the particular field of workers' comp. Employment rights and workers' comp provisions and rules can be complicated, so make sure your attorney has experience in those areas and knows how to deal with your issues. Paying for legal services can be a problem for those who have been out of work due to an injury, so many lawyers use a contingency fee arrangement. This means you pay no money upfront for representation, and the personal injury attorney is paid when your claim is resolved. You may be owed back benefits once you win your claim, and you may also be entitled to a lump sum settlement. If you don't win your case, you will owe your attorney nothing.
Speak to a workers' compensation attorney to find out more about the coverage you deserve.