What should I do if I am injured at work?
By John Pinoth [January 6th, 2012]
If you are injured at work, immediately report the accident to your employer and seek medical treatment from an employer authorized doctor. Read on for further information.
Why can't I see my own doctor?
The law often says that employers must pay for all medical care related to the accident, so they control which doctors you may see. If you decide to go to your own doctor you'll be responsible for the bills. In limited circumstances, an employer's workers' compensation insurance company will authorize a doctor of your choice. The earlier you make the request the more likely the Workers' Compensation insurance carrier will authorize a doctor of your choice.
How will I be paid while I am out of work?
If you miss work, you are entitled to Temporary Disability Benefits. These are paid weekly until you return to work.
How much will I be paid?
You'll receive around 70% of your gross weekly pay at the time of the injury, up to the state maximum, which is currently around $550.00 on average.
If the Workers Compensation Insurance Company denies my claim, can I apply for unemployment?
No, but you are entitled to weekly disability payments. If the Workers' Compensation Insurance Company denies your claim for Temporary Disability Benefits, you cannot apply for unemployment because you are not actively seeking work and are unable to work. You should apply for State Temporary Disability Benefits. The State may request that you file a Workers' Compensation Claim Petition to protect a lien for Temporary Disability Benefits paid to you.
How soon after the accident do I have to file a workers' compensation claim?
You could have up to two years from the last date that workers' compensation benefits (medical bills or temporary disability) were paid. If no medical bills or temporary disability benefits were paid, then you would have two years from the date of the accident.
Can I receive a monetary settlement if I am at work?
Yes, after you receive medical treatment and return to work, you are eligible to receive a settlement for your injury.
Can I collect workers compensation benefits if the accident was my fault?
Yes. As long as you were involved in performing your work while you were injured, it doesn't matter if the accident was caused by you, a co-worker, or your employer.
Can I collect monies for my pain and suffering?
In some cases a claim, in addition to a workers compensation claim, can be filed against another party (known as a Third Party) seeking damages in addition to an award in the workers' compensation court. You should consult with an attorney as soon as possible after the accident to determine whether your case would entitle you to bring a Third Party action. If you are successful in your Third Party action, you will be compensated for your pain and suffering.