I Got Hurt at Work, Should I Contact a Lawyer
If you sustained an injury at work, you might be wondering if you should contact a lawyer. The answer is usually yes.
If you have been injured on the job the first thing you should do is get the medical attention you need and inform your employer, so they can turn the claim over to their workers’ compensation insurance provider.
Most employers are required by law to provide workers’ compensation benefits to employees in the event of an injury suffered during their employment.
What does workers’ compensation cover?
- • All medical bills
- ○ Depending on which state, your employer, or their workers’ compensation provider, may be able to direct your treatment and which providers you see.
- • Temporary Partial Disability (TPD) or Temporary Total Disability (TTD)
- ○ Temporary Partial Disability (TPD) is regular weekly payments of approximately 2/3s of your average wages paid while you are recovering from you injuries. If your employer offers you work within any physical restrictions your physician gives you while recovering, you are required to perform this work (usually called “light” or “restricted” duty). Your pay for this light or restricted duty work will offset or replace any TPD you may be entitled to. If you refuse to perform light or restricted duty work, you may be denied TPD.
- • Temporary Total Disability (TTD) is regular weekly payments of approximately 2/3s of your average wages paid while you are recovering from your injuries AND you are unable to return to any type of work including light or restricted duty work.
What other factors should be considered if you have a potential work-related injury claim?
- • Importantly, you should understand the distinction between a workers’ compensation claim and a negligence claim. In most states if you have been injured on the job, you’re only available claim against your employer or fellow employees, is through workers’ compensation.
- • Even though workers’ compensation benefits are relatively limited, the trade off is that you don’t have to prove that anyone was at fault in causing your injury. You simply must show that the injury happened while you were working. You are entitled to benefits even if your own negligence caused or contributed to the injury.
- • Sometimes in addition to a valid workers’ compensation claim, there may be an available negligence claim against a third party. For instance, if you were injured in a car accident while you were working, you may have a “work comp” claim because it happened while you were on the job. You may also have a personal injury claim against the other driver if he or she was negligent in causing the accident. When two such claims coexist things begin to get even more complicated, which is even more reason to contact VanDerGinst Law.
- • Depending on the nature of the accident and the location, there may also be requirements that an employer promptly report to OSHA or other regulatory agencies. If you suspect reporting is not being done or a proper investigation is not being conducted, you should contact VanDerGinst Law right away.
- • In some states you can select your own treatment providers for a work-related accident. In other states you may be referred by the workers’ compensation carrier to treatment providers. However, even in those cases you may sometimes be able to petition to change providers. When that is necessary, be sure to contact VanDerGinst Law to assist.
- • Sometimes injuries may lend themselves to an assignment of light or restricted duty which can lead to a lot of questions and issues where VanDerGinst Law can help.
- • If you have a permanent disability, you may be entitled to additional payment for your injuries. Again, VanDerGinst Law can help you maximize the amount to which you are entitled.
Workers Compensation can be complicated, employers often don’t understand their obligations to you, and you probably have questions about your rights. You have the right to consult and hire an attorney to advise you and handle your case.
Although every state has some form of workers compensation, the laws in each state are very different. Sometimes if you live in one state, work in another, or are assigned to work in a third state, it may be difficult to know what state’s laws cover you. Often, employers don’t understand the law or procedure of workers compensation very well and you may not be sure if you are getting the benefits and rights you deserve.
In cases where the parties cannot agree, the case can be filed with the state’s Industrial Commission, or similar agency. This consists of Administrative Law Judges or panels of arbitrators with procedural rules to reach a decision on the value of your case. In these cases, it’s important to have an experienced workers’ compensation attorney handling your case. Having an experienced attorney, like VanDerGinst Law, on your side to help handle your case is important and can bring you peace of mind.
If you’ve been injured on the job, VanDerGinst Law would be honored to help you with a workers’ compensation claim. The consultation is free and there is never a fee unless we win.If you suffered an injury in Iowa or Illinois, contact VanDerGinst Law, P.C. at 800-960-8529. The law is tough and being injured is tougher. We’ll make it easier for you.