Types of workers’ compensation benefits
Workers and employees sustain several injuries from their jobs. Many of these workers suffer physical pain, emotional distress, loss of wages, and many more.
Interestingly, workers and employees can now obtain benefits when they sustain work-related injuries. These benefits are distributed through programs like workers’ compensation. Workers’ compensation program reduces the losses that may be incurred as a result of an injury. It also provides assistance for medical treatments.
Worker’s compensation has been created to provide protection for both employers and employees. Below are some fatal injuries that require quick attention and most importantly worker’s compensation.
Workers Fatal Injuries
The OSHA (Occupation Safety and Health Administration) has given a mandate that certain regulations be kept by construction sites. The purpose of this is to protect their workers from harm and keep their sites safe. Despite the fact that this rule is in place, accidents still happen. However, certain accidents in construction sites tend to happen more than others. These accidents are called “fatal four”. They are the cause of the major fatalities of construction workers.
These are among the main causes of death for construction workers. Several construction sites require workers to work at heights that are dangerous. Things like bad flooring, unstable scaffolding, and unsteady ladders can cause fatal falls. A fall arrest system is often provided for construction workers that perform their jobs above six feet.
This is another big risk on construction sites. Exposed wires, flammable materials, and live electricity are all hazardous to everyone on the site including those who don’t work with electricity.
Struck by Object
OSHA has noted this as another potentially fatal issue. Dropped objects and other debris can cause fatal injuries even with hard hats. They can also cause harmful physical trauma to the face or head.
Caught in Between
Construction workers may become trapped in-between immovable objects or pieces of equipment. Workers can also be crushed by debris or falling pieces.
Construction workers engage in several occupations such as plumbing, electrical engineer, carpentry, painting, builders, steel and ironworkers, masonry, and many more. With power tools, elevated work areas, and heavy machinery, construction sites can be really dangerous. But these sites don’t have to be so hazardous as long as there’s proper employee training, equipment maintenance, and safety regulations. Even with all this, injuries still happen sometimes. Below is a list of other injuries that occur in construction sites.
- Head injuries — traumatic injuries in the brain
- Severe burns
- Spinal cord injuries — paralysis
- Hearing loss
- Back injuries
- Fractured, broken, or crushed bones
- Stress injuries like carpal tunnel syndrome
The majority of these injuries need a time out of work to rehabilitate or heal. In some cases, another vocation will be the best option. Some even end up not working anymore.
Worker’s Compensation Benefits
There are 4 major categories of worker’s compensation benefits. This often depends on the kind of injury sustained and how it was sustained. In all, workers are entitled to benefits as a result of an injury sustained from work. Below is a list of these benefits.
Every company’s worker’s compensation insurances cover completely the medical expenses of the injured worker. Expenses that are covered include ER and hospital visits, doctors’ visits alongside the cost of medical devices (crutches and wheelchair,) and prescriptions.
Temporary Disability Benefits
If a worker is unable to work as a result of an injury, a temporary disability benefit would be given. This benefit starts on the eighth day of the disability. However, if the disability tends to last for about two weeks or more, benefits dating back to the first day of the disability will be received. Temporary disability benefits are oftentimes two-thirds of the average weekly income. Company employees or workers may be able to collect disability benefits if they can work. But their weekly earnings are reduced because of the illness or injury.
Permanent Disability Benefits
A worker can procure permanent injuries from work. These permanent injuries can either be total or partial. When workers sustain any of these permanent injuries, they are entitled to collect permanent disability benefits. But the benefit is determined when the worker has obtained maximum medical improvement.
If a worker dies from serious injuries that are work-related, those who are dependent on the worker financially are entitled to collect death benefits. These benefits include loss of wages and funeral expenses. The number of dependents the worker left behind and his income determines how much the benefit will be.
What You Should Do If Your Claim for Workers’ Compensation Was Denied?
Independent contractors are the only ones who do not have claim over worker’s compensation benefits. But if you’re an independent contractor, your companies worker’s compensation insurance should cover the expenses of your work-related injuries. Unfortunately, some insurance companies deny several claims for worker’s compensation benefits. This is because they tend to gain financially from the denied benefits.
When this happens, the best thing to do is to speak to a lawyer or an attorney. With a lawyer by your side, you won’t have to face the intimidating lawyers of the insurance company all by yourself. Your lawyer will fight for your benefit to the amplest extent of the law. They will also make sure you get every penny that you deserve. Interestingly, if the injury sustained is legally qualified as a catastrophic injury, your attorney or lawyer will see to it that you get the compensation that is above the normal benefit cap.
With the help of a lawyer, you’ll be protected from unlawful retaliation from your company or employer. It is also important to know that you’re entitled to worker’s compensation regardless of the cause of the injury. Even if you admit the blames for your injury, you’re still entitled to worker’s compensation benefits.
If you’re injured while exposed to toxic chemicals, on a construction site, slipped on water, or hit by a falling object. Approach an attorney and you’ll be able to file and get your claims completely.
Also, note that you only have 15 days to file a report of work injury to your company or employer. The 15 days start from the day the injury happened or when a doctor confirms that your injury is work-related. It’ll be advisable to tell your company or employer immediately the injury happens. This will prevent delays in getting your worker’s compensation benefits.