No one expects to get hurt on the job, but accidents in the workplace happen. Suffering an injury at work can lead to temporary or permanent disability, further complicating a person’s professional life. The last thing you want after a work accident is to struggle to seek compensation for your losses.
If you were injured on the job and having trouble collecting compensation, it may be time to call a workers’ compensation lawyer with Ben Crump Law, PLLC. We offer free consultations at your home, the hospital, or by telephone. You pay nothing upfront and our lawyers are paid only if we are successful in recovering compensation for you.
A lawyer with our firm can help you understand workers’ compensation, including:
- Eligibility for benefits if you are a part-time, full-time, or seasonal employee.
- Protection of your rights if your employer does not file a legitimate claim, if your claim was denied, or if you were injured by a third-party.
- Representation if you want to appeal a denial or take legal action.
A workers’ compensation lawyer with Ben Crump Law, PLLC can handle your workers’ compensation case from start to finish.
Call us today at (800) 603-4224 for your free consultation.
What Qualifies You for Workers’ Compensation?
Workers’ compensation is insurance offered through employers that pay for medical costs for injuries or illnesses that occur on the job. According to the Insurance Information Institute (III), you may qualify for workers’ compensation if you were hurt while acting in the “course and scope” of your job requirements.
For example, if you work at a home improvement store and you injure your back while carrying a heavy load of lumber, you likely qualify for workers’ compensation.
In another example, you work as an administrative assistant and gradually develop carpal tunnel syndrome, a repetitive stress injury that is common for people who constantly use a keyboard. Both sudden and gradual injuries may be covered under workers’ compensation so long as you are an employee and are injured while on the job.
What you should know about workers’ compensation:
- Each state has different requirements for employers to carry workers’ compensation – one state does not require workers’ compensation at all.
- Full-time, part-time, and seasonal employees may qualify for workers’ compensation.
- You are usually covered from the moment you become an employee, although some employers may have a probationary period.
You are entitled to workers’ compensation regardless of who is at-fault for your injury or illness.
How Long Does It Usually Take To Get Workers’ Compensation?
If the insurance company honors your claim, workers’ compensation benefits usually arrive within three weeks.
It is your responsibility to tell your employer about your injury or illness. You are a beneficiary of workers’ compensation, but you are not allowed to file your own claim. Some states have a deadline that requires you to report the accident, injury, or illness or you may forfeit your workers’ compensation coverage. In Florida, for example, employees must inform their employer within 30 days, according to the state’s Florida Department of Financial Services.
If it takes more than three weeks for you to start receiving compensation for medical expenses and a portion of your lost salary, you can consider calling a workers’ compensation lawyer.
In order to obtain your potential benefits as soon as possible, there are a few things you can make sure to do. When reporting an injury:
- Give the date, time, and location.
- Include details about your injury, illness, or accident.
- Include the contact information and names of any witnesses.
- Write down what you believe caused the injury.
If you have concerns about your workers’ compensation benefits, call Ben Crump Law, PLLC for a free case review. You can reach us at (800) 603-4224.
Can You Use PTO While on Workers’ Compensation?
Workers’ compensation may provide you financial awards for medical treatments, tests, and recovery while you are sick or injured. However, each state has different requirements for salary compensation, and this compensation is usually only a portion of your regular paycheck.
Some injured workers may use Personal Time Off (PTO), such as paid sick days or paid vacation leave, to bridge the gap before their workers’ compensation benefits begin. An employer does not have the authority to force you to take PTO while on workers’ compensation, but many people cannot afford to go without pay.
A workers’ compensation lawyer can help you understand the benefits that may be available to you according to the laws of your state. These benefits can include:
- Medical benefits
- Lost wages
- Temporary total or partial disability
- Permanent total disability
- Impairment with maximum medical improvement rating
- Death benefits
Why You May Want to Use PTO
Sometimes an injured worker will use his or her PTO because it takes at least one week before being paid for lost wages due to injury or illness. Most workers’ compensation policies consider a week as seven consecutive days, including weekends.
You do not accumulate additional PTO (or holidays) while you are receiving workers’ compensation benefits.
How Much Do I Get from Workers’ Compensation?
The amount you receive from your workers’ compensation may be affected by several factors, including:
- Your state’s workers’ compensation guidelines.
- Your pay rate (whether hourly or salaried).
- If you are a seasonal or temporary worker.
- If you have worked in the same industry for a full year.
You must consent to a medical examination by your employer’s doctor to be entitled to medical benefits. You may consult your own physician, but this exam will not be covered by workers’ compensation.
Workers’ Compensation Is a Portion of Your Weekly Pay
Each state sets its own guidelines for workers’ compensation wage benefits, but the typical benefit is roughly two-thirds (60 percent) of your average weekly pay. For example, if you earn $1,000 a week, your workers’ compensation weekly pay is $600.
In general, workers’ compensation weekly pay rates may be affected by:
- If you are partially or totally disabled.
- If you are temporarily or permanently disabled.
- If there is a maximum benefits cap.
Workers’ compensation laws are complex. It may be helpful for you to talk to a workers’ compensation lawyer to make sure your rights are protected. Call Ben Crump Law, PLLC for a free consultation with a member of our firm: (800) 603-4224.
Does Filing a Workers’ Compensation Claim Affect Employment?
You have the right to ask your employer to file a workers’ compensation claim if you are an employee who is injured at work. You cannot be fired for exercising this right. However, in some circumstances, your employer may try to fire you for filing a claim. This is highly illegal, and you are encouraged to talk to an attorney who may protect you. Workers’ compensation is a no-fault insurance. This means that you may collect benefits regardless of who caused the accident, injury, or illness.
Your Rights Under Workers’ Compensation
Most states require that employers (with a few exceptions) carry workers’ compensation for their employees. Employers should also:
- Display posters about employee worker’s compensation in full public view where employees usually gather.
- In state that do not require employers to carry worker’s compensation insurance, display posters to inform employees of the lack of coverage.
- Make available the paperwork and procedures for filing worker’s compensation claims.
You may visit the workers’ compensation website in your state. However, these laws and guidelines are often complex. You have the right to consult a lawyer about your workers’ compensation eligibility and benefits.
Why Do Employers Fight Workers’ Compensation Claims?
Some workers’ compensation claims are met with resistance from employers for a variety of reasons.
Some employers may fight workers’ compensation claims due to:
- Fear of Rising Premium Costs: if there are many claims filed or if an employee has an injury that results in particularly costly medical care and/or disability.
- Employer Bias: if the employer believes that an employee with a workers’ compensation claim is pretending to be ill or injured for financial gain.
- Fear of Reduced Productivity: if an employer believes output will suffer due to an employee’s absence (especially true in small companies).
- Fear of a Tarnished Reputation: if an employer fears a potentially unsafe or undesirable place to work would impair the company from hiring good employees.
An employer cannot fire you for filing a workers’ compensation claim, nor can an employer refuse to file a claim based on the reasons listed above; however, some employees drop a legitimate claim for fear of retaliation.
You do not have to give into doubt or fear when an injury occurs at the workplace. You can work with a workers’ compensation lawyer with Ben Crump Law, PLLC. We have helped other people who were injured or disabled on the job seek workers’ compensation benefits needed for medical bills and lost pay.
What Happens if You Get Caught Working While on Workers’ Compensation?
If you filed a false or misleading workers’ compensation claim with your employer and you are caught working at another job while receiving benefits, you could face criminal charges.
Sometimes an employee can still work, or work in a modified fashion, even while on workers’ compensation. You should know that you have the right to the following guidelines while you are on workers’ compensation:
- Work restrictions that are clear and specific limits from your doctor to protect you from further injury.
- Adjustments, modifications, and other considerations to prevent you from further injury or illness.
- Your employer cannot force you to return to work if a doctor has determined that you are unable to work at all.
You did not choose to be injured or sickened on the job. A workers’ compensation lawyer with our firm can help protect your rights.
A medical evaluation can help you determine the severity of your injury, which will help you estimate your losses that will extend into the future. For example, you may have developed a chronic condition that will require continued therapy.
Can I Change Jobs While on Workers’ Compensation?
Some states do not allow you to change jobs while on workers’ compensation. Other states, like Florida, do not specifically restrict an employee from changing jobs.
Before you change jobs while on workers’ compensation, it is a good idea to check with an attorney. You do not want to inadvertently jeopardize your benefits. Some insurance companies may try to use your job change as an excuse not to pay for your medical bills or lost wages.
Our firm can help you with issues that include:
- Workplace discrimination or harassment
- Denied workers’ compensation benefits
- Work restrictions from a licensed medical provider
- Personal injury lawsuits against third-party
- Death benefits if you are a surviving family member
Workers’ compensation benefits alone may not be enough to pay your bills. Each state has different workers’ compensation laws. There are varying obligations and restrictions for both employers and employees. Fortunately, Ben Crump Law, PLLC is a nationwide firm. We can help you with your workers’ compensation concerns and questions regardless of where you live.
How Much Is the Average Workers’ Compensation Settlement?
Worker’s compensation settlements vary based on several factors, including:
- The nature, severity, and extent of your injuries or illness
- Whether total or partial disability occurred
- Your recovery timeframe
Workers’ compensation laws vary by state, but they are generally broad in what they cover. They may include injuries, illnesses, accidents, diseases, and even deaths. The requirements for carrying workers’ compensation and the process for filing for it vary by state, as well.
A workers’ compensation lawyer with Ben Crump Law, PLLC can help you make sure you receive benefits according to your injuries and damages. Call (800) 603-4224 for a free consultation.
Can I Be Fired While on Workers’ Compensation?
Workers’ compensation is a type of insurance most companies are required to carry. It is designed to provide financial compensation for workers in the event they are injured on-the-job, regardless of fault.
Each state has workers’ compensation laws to protect employees who are injured in work-related activities. The goal of these laws also protects employers. Generally speaking, an employee cannot file a personal injury lawsuit against an employer. An employee may take legal action against a third-party who caused or contributed to the injury or accident. In order to focus on your health, you can have a workers’ compensation lawyer with Ben Crump Law, PLLC handle your case.
Your employer is likely prohibited by state law from firing you because you filed a workers’ compensation claim. However, if you live in an “employment at will” state, such as Indiana, your employer may:
- Fire, demote, layoff, suspend, or hire at their discretion;
- Set their own work hours and policies; provided that
- These actions and policies do not discriminate against their employees based on sex, age, race, religion, national origin, or disability.
If you believe that you were unjustly fired while on workers’ compensation, we may be able to help.
What Is a Fair Workers’ Compensation Settlement?
Each workers’ compensation settlement is different because each circumstance is different. Generally, insurance companies (including those that issue workers’ compensation policies) prefer to settle for as little money as possible. After all, insurance companies make money by collecting premiums, and they lose money by paying claims.
That is why many injured or disabled people turn to a workers’ compensation lawyer for assistance. Our lawyers can take an objective look at your injuries (both physical and emotional) to evaluate your damages.
At the very least, workers’ compensation should cover:
- An authorized primary doctor and/or specialist(s)
- All medically necessary care and treatment related to your injury
- Travel reimbursement for authorized medical care and treatment (for example, mileage from your home to the doctor’s office or pharmacy)
- Lost wages
If you have extensive injuries with lingering medical issues and expenses, you could be offered a workers’ compensation settlement.
Types of Settlements
There are two primary types of workers’ compensation settlement agreements:
- Lump-sum settlement in which you give up certain rights (such as legal action) to receive a one-time payment from your employer or the insurance company.
- Structured settlement in which you agree not to pursue legal action and receive smaller payments over a set timeframe, such as one year, five years, or more.
These settlement arrangements also may be offered to surviving family members whose loved one died on the job.
When Should I Settle My Workers’ Compensation Case?
In our experience, knowing when to settle a workers’ compensation case is as important as the amount of the award. A lawyer with Ben Crump Law, PLLC will look for certain conditions before advising a client to settle, such as:
- Your prognosis
- Your recovery and rehabilitation
- Your ability to return to the same job (or type of work) or if your work capacity will be limited because of your injury or illness
- Your medical expenses
You may also be bound by state or employer guidelines for a workers’ compensation case to be settled by a certain time after the injury, accident, or illness.
A Lawyer Can Protect Your Rights and Financial Security
Insurance companies may offer a settlement before an injured worker realizes the true extent of their medical bills, lost wages, and other monetary losses.
However, once you sign a workers’ compensation settlement, you waive the right to seek additional damages or even discuss details of the settlement. A workers’ compensation lawyer can protect you by considering certain factors, such as:
- Does the claim cover future or anticipated medical expenses?
- Is the claim amount adequate if you have work restrictions or cannot work at all?
- Does the claim waive your right to file workers’ compensation claims for similar injuries?
A lawyer with our firm can help you understand your rights and options.
How Do You Negotiate a Workers’ Compensation Settlement?
If you have ever bought a home or car, you know that there is typically a negotiation process: you make your offer, the home owner (or car dealership) counters your offer, and you go back and forth until you reach an acceptable amount for both parties.
A workers’ compensation settlement also involves negotiating, but there are also regulations and statutes that may play a role in the process. For example, any settlement that you reach usually has to be approved by a state workers’ compensation agency, such as the State Board of Workers’ Compensation in Georgia.
You are not obligated to have a workers’ compensation lawyer negotiate on your behalf, but it may be in your best interest. Your employer and the insurance company will have an attorney, and it is your right to hire a lawyer to speak on your behalf.
Typical Steps in a Workers’ Compensation Settlement
- Your lawyer submits a demand letter to the insurance company with the amount you seek to settle.
- The insurance company receives the letter and makes a counteroffer.
- Negotiations can take a few days or several weeks.
- Once you have agreed upon a settlement, it will be sent to your state’s governing authority for these matters for final approval.
How Do I Maximize my Workers’ Compensation Settlement?
One of the easiest ways to maximize your workers’ compensation settlement is to call Ben Crump Law, PLLC for a free case review. We can evaluate your case and if we can help you with a new claim, a denied claim, or a settlement offer.
There are steps that you can take that can also maximize your settlement, including:
- Follow your employer and state guidelines for reporting an accident, injury, or illness.
- Get medical care as soon as possible and follow your healthcare provider’s instructions for recuperation and recovery.
- Agree to an independent medical examination (IME) from a provider of your employer’s choosing.
- Keep records of everything, including bills, receipts, and a summary of conversations and details throughout the claim process.
- Avoid making a statement to the insurance company without first speaking to a workers’ compensation lawyer.
A lawyer can make sure that you are fulfilling your obligations and checking to make sure your employer and insurance adjuster is doing the same.
Understand How You May Be Rated
Workers’ compensation disability pay varies depending on your situation, such as:
- Temporary total disability
- Temporary partial disability
- Permanent partial disability
- Permanent total disability
To learn more about maximizing your workers’ compensation settlement, call Ben Crump Law, PLLC for a free consultation today: (800) 603-4224.
Can You Collect Workers’ Compensation and Social Security?
You may collect workers’ compensation and Social Security at the same time, according to the Social Security Administration (SSA). There are other public benefits that you may receive along with Social Security, including:
- Veterans Administration benefits
- Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
- Disability benefits from private sources
- State and local government benefits (with some limitations)
- Civil service disability benefits
- State temporary disability benefits
- State or local government retirement disability benefits
However, your Social Security payments may be reduced depending on how much you are collecting from workers’ compensation.
How Workers’ Compensation and Social Security May Clash
According to the Social Security Administration, the total amount of your workers’ compensation or other public disability benefits, when combined with your Social Security disability benefits, cannot exceed 80 percent of your average earnings before you became disabled.
You should also know that a lump-sum workers’ compensation settlement that is in addition to or instead of a monthly benefit may also affect your Social Security disability benefits.
It is easy to become confused about receiving workers’ compensation and Social Security disability benefits at the same time. We encourage you to talk to a tax professional to ensure you comply with state and federal tax laws, and a Social Security representative about those benefits.
Do I Have to Pay Taxes on a Workers’ Compensation Settlement?
According to the Internal Revenue Service, workers’ compensation benefits are exempt from federal income tax. Should you return to work on light or limited duty and are still under an authorized doctor’s care, you will pay taxes on any wages earned while working.
You may have to pay taxes on what is informally known as “workers’ compensation offset.”
When Taxes Become a Factor
A portion of your workers’ compensation benefits may be reduced and/or taxed if you are also eligible to receive Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI), Supplemental Security Income (SSI), or railroad retirement benefits at the same time.
- You suffer a permanent injury while working and receive lifetime workers’ compensation disability benefits in addition to SSI.
- To meet federal requirements that your combined benefits may not exceed 80 percent of your previous income (before you were injured), a portion of your worker’s compensation payments may be taxable.
- You may be affected by state income taxes depending on where you live.
This scenario does not affect everyone who receives both Social Security and workers’ compensation benefits and is not meant to replace advice from a financial expert. Ben Crump Law, PLLC suggests that you talk to a tax professional or contact the Internal Revenue Service with questions and concerns.
Is Workers’ Compensation Considered Income?
Workers’ compensation is generally not considered income, and therefore is not subject to federal income tax. There are a few exceptions, such as people who receive both workers’ compensation and Social Security disability or other government disability benefits at the same time.
If you go back to work while you under the care of an authorized medical provider, this income may be subject to taxes. A workers’ compensation lawyer with Ben Crump Law, PLLC can protect your legal rights. You may also want to talk to an accountant or other financial professional about your income tax questions and concerns.
Understanding Workers’ Compensation
Workers’ compensation is a flexible insurance provided by your employer. These benefits can cover you for just a few days while you get back on your feet, but it also offers permanent disability if you can’t go back to work, or can go back to work but only at 60 percent of your previous capacity.
Depending on your situation, your workers’ compensation may provide benefits for:
- Medical treatment and care.
- Temporary total disability benefits if your injuries keep you from working for at least seven consecutive days.
- Disability benefits if you cannot work at all.
Workers’ compensation also provides survivorship benefits for eligible family members.
Do I Have To Report My Workers’ Compensation Settlement Money?
Some people file an income tax return even if they do not owe taxes, because some government surplus and other assistance require a completed tax return.
According to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), you generally do not have to claim your workers’ compensation settlement money as taxable income. Ben Crump Law, PLLC encourages you to talk to a tax advisor for specific questions about your state and/or federal income tax return.
There may be some situations where you are required to claim workers’ compensation settlement money, such as:
- You retire because of your work-related illness or injury.
- Your workers’ compensation payments reduce your Social Security or railroad retirement benefits.
- You withdrew money from a 401(k) or other retirement income plan to subsidize your workers’ compensation benefits.
You may also be required to include workers’ compensation as income if you previously deducted medical expenses related to your injury or illness.
A workers’ compensation lawyer with Ben Crump Law, PLLC Mr. Crump is ready to protect your right to collect compensation after an accident in the workplace. Our legal team is not intimidated by the behavior of insurance companies who seek to limit your payout. For a free consultation with a team member, call (800) 603-4224 today.
Do I Lose SSI if I Get a Workers’ Compensation Settlement?
You will probably not lose Supplemental Security Income (SSI) if you get a workers’ compensation settlement.
Supplemental Security Income (SSI) is administered by the Social Security Administration (SSA) but is funded by general tax revenues. This program is designed to provide:
- Cash payments for basic needs, such as food, clothing, and shelter.
- Financial aid for people who have little or no income, particularly disabled, blind, or elderly Americans.
The SSA will not take away your Supplemental Security Income because you get a workers’ compensation settlement. Your SSI may be reduced if the total amount in benefits exceeds 80 percent of your average income before you were disabled.
How SSI Benefits Could Be Affected
This example from a Social Security Administration publication explains how your SSI benefits could be affected by a workers’ compensation settlement:
- A worker earns $4,000 a month before becoming disabled on the job.
- The worker, the worker’s spouse, and their two young children may receive $2,200 each month in Social Security disability benefits.
- The worker also gets $2,000 a month from workers’ compensation.
Because the total amount of benefits is $4,200 is more than 80 percent of the worker’s previous income, the Social Security benefits will be reduced by $1,000.
Does Workers’ Compensation Pay Full Salary?
Workers’ compensation is designed to help people who are injured or become ill while on the job. It is to provide financial relief for medical care and treatment for these injuries and illnesses.
While workers’ compensation may also provide weekly pay for those who qualify, it is not at full salary.
Each state has different income guidelines, but generally, workers’ compensation salary is equivalent to two-thirds or 60 percent of your income. According to the Florida Department of Financial Services, the amount of your bi-weekly workers’ compensation pay depends upon certain conditions, such as:
- If you worked less than 90% of the 91-day period before you became sick or injured;
- If you worked less than 75% of the 13-week period prior to becoming sick or injured; and
- If you are a seasonal or temporary worker.
Ben Crump Law, PLLC serves clients nationwide. We can connect you with a workers’ compensation lawyer who is familiar with the laws, statutes, and guidelines in your state. Sometimes an employer will balk at filing a workers’ compensation claim for your medical bills and lost pay. Our lawyers can bring you peace of mind knowing that we will vigorously defend your rights and pursue the maximum possible compensation.
What Is the Process for Workers’ Compensation Claims?
The workers’ compensation process begins when a worker files a claim for an injury. Employers in Florida are required to carry workers’ compensation insurance when they employ four or more employees, with very few exceptions. Other states have different rules.
In New Jersey, for example, employers can either carry workers’ compensation insurance or be self-injured, with approval from the state. Texas, on the other hand, does not require employers to carry workers’ compensation or for them to become self-insured.
Process for Workers’ Compensation Claims
Employees who are entitled to workers’ compensation are responsible for reporting workplace injuries, accidents, or illness to their employer. In Florida, you must report an injury to your employer within 30 days of the incident. Other states may have different deadlines.
We recommend the following steps after any workplace injury:
- Get medical care.
- Follow your doctor’s orders.
- You may be required to see your employer’s authorized doctor.
- Keep all paperwork, bills, receipts, emails, and correspondence from the insurance company.
You are invited to call Ben Crump Law, PLLC for a free case review. A member of our team can meet with you at your home, the hospital, or by phone.
Does an Employer Pay an Employee While on Workers’ Compensation?
An employer is usually not required to pay an employee who is receiving workers’ compensation. However, employers in every state except Texas are required to provide workers’ compensation.
Your salary on workers’ compensation is a portion of your regular paycheck. You may not be entitled to wages for the first consecutive seven days, but you could be reimbursed if you are unable to work after 21 consecutive days.
Some types of employees may not be eligible for workers’ compensation, including:
- Fewer employees than what the state requires
- Agricultural employees
- Seasonal labor (also called occasional, casual, and irregular labor)
- Domestic employees
- Independent contractors
- Employees who are paid solely on commission, such as real estate agents
Benefits of Hiring a Lawyer
Some employers make it difficult for sick or injured employees to receive workers’ compensation. If your workers’ compensation benefits claim was denied or your benefits are not enough to keep you afloat, a workers’ compensation lawyer may be able to help.
A lawyer with Ben Crump Law, PLLC can:
- Gather evidence of your injuries and damages.
- Help you receive compensation for medical bills and financial losses due to missed work.
- Hold a negligent third-party accountable if applicable.
It is your right to have a legal advocate on your side to help you recover workers’ compensation benefits.
Does Workers’ Compensation Affect Future Employment?
Your future employment should not be affected by the fact that you were injured or became sick on the job. It is your right as an employee to file for workers’ compensation benefits if you were hurt in a workplace incident or accident. An employer who refuses to give you a reference or gives you a negative employee review because you were on workers’ compensation may be held accountable.
Every state has its own rules regarding workers’ compensation and labor issues, but in general:
- Employers may not ask an applicant about any medical condition or mental or physical disability.
- Employers may not ask a job applicant about prior workers’ compensation claims.
- Employers may not refuse to hire an applicant based on a previous injury or medical condition.
- Employers may ask a prospective employee if he or she can fulfill the job-related functions (such as standing, walking, carrying packages, and more).
- Employers may ask that an employee who accepts a job offer to undergo a medical, psychological, or combined exam if it is necessary for job-related functions and that other employees had to have the same examination.
If you suspect that your job prospects are being negatively impacted by a workers’ compensation claim, please call Ben Crump Law, PLLC today for a free case review: (800) 603-4224.
How Long Can an Employee Be on Workers’ Compensation?
Workers’ compensation is for both sudden injuries, such as a slip and fall accident, as well as long-term, cumulative injuries, such as carpal tunnel syndrome. The length of time that you may be on workers’ compensation depends on the severity of your injuries or illness, your expected recovery period, and your prognosis.
There is no minimum time limit for workers’ compensation: you may need the day off or you may be out of work for six weeks. However, there are agreed upon definitions for various stages of injury and disability that define how much you are paid:
- Temporary Partial Disability benefits can last up to 104 weeks if an authorized doctor states you may return to work with restrictions, but you earn less than 80 percent of your pre-injury wages.
- Temporary Total Disability benefits may range from 66 2/3 percent of your pre-injury wages to 80 percent, depending on your injuries; you may receive up to a total of 104 weeks as determined by an authorized doctor.
- Impairment Income Benefits are based on a rating from an authorized doctor who has determined that you are at Maximum Medical Improvement and that your condition is not expected to improve significantly.
- Permanent Total Disability Benefits are for workers so severely injured that they can never work again.
A workers’ compensation lawyer can fight for the type of workers’ compensation you may be entitled to receive.
How Is a Workers’ Compensation Settlement Determined?
Workers’ compensation settlements are determined by many factors, including:
- Medical expenses (past, present, and future)
- Lifecare costs
- Lost wages
- Level of disability
There are also state workers’ compensation guidelines that may include a cap on certain benefits.
Insurance companies consider both actual injuries – a broken leg or fractured wrist, for example – along with emotional trauma associated with this physical pain. This perceived pain factor can influence how an insurance adjuster valuates your workers’ compensation benefits.
Some common workplace injuries include:
- Whiplash and other neck injuries
- Back, spine, and shoulder injuries
- Slip and fall accident injuries
- Motor vehicle injuries
- Soft tissue injuries such as twisted ankles or wrist sprain
- Head injuries including concussion and traumatic brain injury
- Occupational diseases like mesothelioma or black lung
- Hearing or vision loss
- Burns or electrical shocks
- Repetitive stress injuries, like carpal tunnel syndrome
- Exposure to toxic substances
- Workplace violence
You always have the option to talk to a workers’ compensation lawyer before you accept a settlement. Once you settle and sign legal documents, you cannot go back and ask for additional compensation.
Do all Workers’ Compensation Cases End in a Settlement?
A workers’ compensation case may end in a settlement. Our lawyers at Ben Crump Law, PLLC strongly advise you to talk to an attorney before you sign any settlement papers.
Most workers’ compensation settlements include:
- An agreement that you cannot seek additional compensation for medical bills, lost wages, or any other loss.
- A nondisclosure clause that prohibits you from revealing details about the settlement to anyone.
- A waiver of liability that prevents you from taking legal action against your employer or any third-party who contributed to your injury or illness.
A workers’ compensation settlement may be in a lump-sum; you receive a single payment that is either a check payable to you or a direct deposit to your savings or checking account. You might be offered a structured settlement, with smaller amounts paid over a certain period.
You Can Appeal a Rejected Claim
A less desirable end to a workers’ compensation claim is a denial. Sometimes an insurance company will try to accuse you of misrepresenting your injury. They may try to blame your injury on a preexisting condition or even deny that the injury occurred in the workplace.
You can appeal a rejected workers’ compensation claim or request mediation to settle a dispute over benefits. Either way, it is your right to have a lawyer present to protect your rights.
Who Pays a Workers’ Compensation Settlement?
Every state in the nation, except for Texas, requires most employers to offer workers’ compensation insurance. There are some exceptions within these state guidelines. However, it is the employer who is responsible for paying the premium for workers’ compensation insurance. In return the insurance company pays for the workers’ compensation settlement.
Some exceptionally large companies are self-insured. In these situations, the companies themselves would pay benefits for medical bills, lost pay, and other compensation.
Your settlement will depend on several factors, including:
- Severity of your injuries
- Length of your recovery
- Temporary or permanent disability, either partial or total
- Medical and lifecare costs (past, current, and future)
Most states have an authorizing agency that approves workers’ compensation settlements. Employers have an obligation to follow these guidelines as the policy holder.
How Can a Workers’ Compensation Lawyer Help Me?
Workers’ compensation laws are challenging. If you are sick or injured, it is even more difficult to try and determine your legal rights. A workers’ compensation lawyer with Ben Crump Law, PLLC can protect your rights and help you understand what benefits you may be entitled to receive.
Insurance companies often try to deny, delay, or downplay your injuries. A lawyer can help gather the necessary evidence to prove the extent of your injuries, such as:
- Secure medical and vocational experts who can testify to the extent and impact of your injuries or illness.
- Compile medical test results, lab work, and other documentation of your injuries or illness.
- Valuate your medical bills, lost pay, and other losses.
- Represents you at appeals, mediation, and other proceedings.
While you do not have to hire a lawyer to help you with your workers’ compensation case, you may not know enough about your state’s laws to fully protect and exercise your rights.
Third-Party Personal Injury Lawsuit
You may not be able to sue your employer for negligence, but a lawyer can help you if a third-party contributed or caused your injuries or illness. An attorney with Ben Crump Law, PLLC can file a personal injury lawsuit and seek compensation on your behalf.
What Are My Rights for Workers’ Compensation?
If your employer is required by the laws in your state (or the District of Columbia) to provide workers’ compensation, you have the right to:
- Inform your employer if you were hurt on the job.
- Receive workers’ compensation benefits for medical bills, lost pay, and other reasonable expenses regardless of who caused the accident, injury, or illness.
- View the workers’ compensation claim submitted by your employer.
- Hire a physician for a second opinion if you feel the doctor chosen by your employer is inadequate or in error.
- Appeal a denied claim.
Perhaps your most important right in a workers’ compensation case is that you can talk to a lawyer who understands these kinds of claims. While hiring an attorney does not guarantee a particular outcome, having a strong legal advocate by your side can ensure that your rights are protected.
Taking Legal Action
You may have the right to file a personal injury lawsuit under certain situations. It is possible that you could recover additional compensation if your injury or illness were caused by:
- Defective products
- Toxic substances
- Intentional harm
We have helped many injured and disabled workers with their workers’ compensation claims, even if their initial claim was denied.
Why Should I Get an Attorney for Workers’ Compensation?
Depending on your work-related injury or illness, your workers’ compensation coverage may be inadequate for you and your family. Workers’ compensation wages are a portion of your regular paycheck, and you could suffer financially if you are unable to return to work right away or if you cannot work at all. There are also other losses that are not covered by workers’ compensation, such as pain and suffering.
A workers’ compensation lawyer can help you understand your legal options in addition to workers’ compensation, such as your employer’s private insurance or the potential to sue a liable third-party. An attorney can look out for your best interests so you can focus on your health and your loved ones.
A Worker’s Compensation Lawyer Helps in Many Ways
Ben Crump Law, PLLC can help you with legal services such as:
- Free case review
- Thorough evaluation of your case, injuries, and damages
- Deep understanding of your state’s workers’ compensation, liability, and negligence laws
- Secure evidence, testimony, and documentation to support your claim
- Negotiate the best possible settlement with the insurance company
Our firm has the necessary resources and staff to help you through this process with the highest adherence to professional and legal standards. It would be our honor to help you through this difficult time.
How Much Does a Workers’ Compensation Lawyer Cost?
We cannot speak for other law firms, but it does not cost you anything to hire a workers’ compensation lawyer with Ben Crump Law, PLLC. Our lawyers help you on a contingency basis only, which means:
- You pay nothing upfront.
- You pay no hourly fees or retainers.
- Our fees are paid from a portion of what we recover on your behalf: no recovery, no fee.
Our founder, attorney Ben Crump, is a passionate advocate for justice. Cost is often a barrier to legal representation, but not at Ben Crump Law, PLLC. We fight for our clients to recover compensation and justice from all liable parties, no matter how powerful.
We Accept Workers’ Compensation Cases
Our lawyers are familiar with workers’ compensation claims as well as other types of workplace injury and personal injury cases. We can help you reach an acceptable settlement with the insurance company for:
- Medical treatment, including surgery, hospitalization, rehabilitation, specialists, and other medical care
- Lost pay for the time you miss work because of your injury or illness
- Disability benefits if you cannot return to your old job or cannot work at all
We can also help surviving family members secure survivorship benefits if their loved one died on the job.
Call Today for Your Free Case Review
No one asks to be injured at work. While some employers do the right thing and streamline the workers’ compensation process for their hurt employees, others do not. You should not have to work while you are injured or sick if your medical condition is work-related. A workers’ compensation lawyer can represent you to your employer or their insurance company.
Ben Crump Law, PLLC has recovered millions of dollars in compensation for our clients. Our award-winning firm gladly tackles tough cases and powerful defendants. You do not have to be alone in your quest for workers’ compensation benefits for medical bills or lost pay.
Call Ben Crump Law, PLLC today for a free case review at your home, the hospital, or by phone. There is no cost or obligation, and we are only paid if we successfully recover compensation for you. Call (800) 603-4224 to speak with a friendly member of our team.