Before beginning to know How Much Does Workers Comp Pay? we must understand what it means exactly. Of all the legal rights that a worker has one of the most important rights that a worker has is that to claim compensation in case he has been injured during an incident that is related to his work. Given that an injury means that the worker cannot work or contribute to work effectively for a short period of time, it is necessary to compensate him. It also means that the worker is likely to have to pay for his medical expenses and treatment. In most countries across the world and across most jurisdictions, the compensation provided to workers for injury on the basis of insurance is handled by the employer. For common injuries such as spinal cord injuries(covers under workers comp for back injury), neck injuries, brain injuries, slip injuries, and fall injuries usually the worker is compensated with the workers’ compensation settlement provided by the employer.
It must be kept in mind that compensation for an injury is not a financial perk given to an employee but is something that he is entitled to reinstate him to the financial state that he was before the injury occurred. Depending on the type of injury that has occurred and the nature of the accident that led to the injury in the first place the quantum and the type of compensation is usually determined. Another factor which goes into determining how much compensation or worker is entitled to be how much rest the worker will have to take in order to recover from his injury. Therefore is the rest period of the recovery period is very short for the worker then the amount of compensation that he is entitled to be lower.
How Much Does Workers Comp Pay?
As stated above the amount of workers compensation depends upon a variety of factors and the severity of the injuries suffered. However, all compensation paid to an injured worker can usually be determined and classified into 4 main categories. The first category is compensation based on weekly payments, the second is impairment benefits if the impairment is permanent in nature, the third type of compensation is compensation provided towards the cost of medical bills borne, and finally, if rehabilitation is required compensation for rehabilitation may also be provided.
It must be remembered that the extent of the injury is an important factor that is considered while determining whether or not a worker is entitled to compensation. If the injury is extremely superficial in nature and the worker does not have to take any time off to recover from it and also if the injury is of the sort which does not cause too much pain to the individual in question, in those circumstances the worker may not be entitled to any compensation.
Weekly compensation benefits
Given that the number of vacation days is limited and the fact that workers cannot take unlimited leave it is a huge disadvantage to a worker who has been injured and cannot come to work. This means that one of the things that he may have to suffer apart from his injury is a loss of pay. to prevent this unfair scenario from occurring, one of the types of compensation provided to workers is a weekly compensation benefit. This weekly compensation benefit is basically provided to the worker who has been injured for the period of time that he cannot come to work in order to recover from the injury and rehabilitate himself. Depending on the nature of the disability, the type and extent of the compensation may be determined. For instance, a disability can be either temporary or permanent in nature. Similarly, a disability can also be classified on the basis of whether it is a total disability or a partial disability when it comes to total disability this may impair the worker from ever returning to gainful full employment. Therefore when it comes to determine weekly compensation benefits it is important to consider all of these factors and then compensate the worker appropriately. The four major types of disability are as follows:
- Temporary total disability
- Permanent total disability
- Temporary partial disability
- Permanent partial disability
Temporary and Permanent Disability
The distinction between a temporary and permanent disability can be made on the duration of which the disability persists. a disability which will go away after the recovery period, or within a certain period of time Is termed as a temporary disability, and Those disabilities which will continue to affect the person throughout his lifetime or which is more permanent in nature is termed as a permanent disability.
Total vs. Partial disability
The distinction between total and partial disability is determined on the basis of the disability suffered. for instance, if a worker cannot use hand ever again due to the injury suffered then it will be termed as a total disability. This is because his ability to do work is permanently affected due to the nature of the injury. on the other hand, if the nature of the injury is less serious, then that disability will be termed as a partial disability. There is various criterion described for determining whether a disability is a total or a partial disability.
For how long is a worker entitled to claim compensation?
There are two aspects which mainly dictate as to how long a worker can claim compensation for the injury that he has suffered. The first aspect is the policy of the company that the worker is employed in. the second aspect that is usually a factor which determines as to how long a worker is entitled to claim compensation is the nature of the injury and the nature of the disability. for instance, if the injury is temporary in nature and partial in nature as well the time frame for which a worker may claim compensation is likely to be lower than in case of a serious injury are you complete disability. There may also be an age cut off (usually the age of 65) after which a worker may not be entitled to claim compensation.
Amount of weekly benefits
For compensation provided towards total disability, the amount of weekly benefits varies from one state to another, and based on the jurisdiction of the state, the law may be different. For instance, while in some states the total disability compensation provided to workers is 60% 2/3 of the wages that they were previously earning per week, in certain other states there is a lump sum amount that is provided as compensation for injuries on a weekly basis. Usually, this amount is capped about $1000 a week.
On the other hand, when it comes to partial disability, the likelihood of variation when it comes to workers’ compensation is much higher because different jurisdictions have different rules with regards to how to provide compensation in case of a partial disability. If the worker continues to work during the time that is partial disability success then the benefit will be calculated on the basis of the weekly average that the worker usually earns. Given that the variation in providing compensation for partial disability is so high, it is better to look at each situation individually and determine as to how much compensation the worker is entitled to receive.
Permanent impairment benefits
This type of compensation is provided to workers when the type of injury has resulted in a permanent impairment. The procedure to calculate how much compensation a worker is entitled to receive for permanent impairment is slightly more complex than determining temporary disability benefits that a worker is entitled to receive. The amount of compensation that an injured worker is entitled to receive is calculated on the basis of percentages of disability. for instance even in an accident even if certain body parts are injured, some parts may be enjoyed more than the others, I’m even if an injury has been sustained it does not necessarily mean that that part of the body or that organ is no longer functional. Therefore depending upon the amount of injury sustained, the extent and the type of injury, a percentage point is given to determine how much compensation is to be provided. For instance of a worker injures his hand in an accident, a 20% loss may be determined, and accordingly, the compensation to be provided will be calculated.
This calculation is based on the guideline set by the American Medical Association. in case of permanent loss or permanent impairment (100%), the procedure to calculate compensation is fairly simple.
A simple way to determine how much impairment benefits you’re likely to receive based on the percentage of the impairment that you have suffered is to check how much impairment benefits are likely to be given if the impairment is total in nature. For example and to illustrate, if a person who has suffered total impairment of their hand is entitled to claim 300000$ as impairment benefits, if the amount of impairment is determined to be 30%, he is entitled to get 100000% (30% of 300000$).
Costs of medical treatment
One of the first avenues where a worker is likely to spend money in case he has suffered an accident is for his or her medical treatment. It is important to seek medical treatment as soon as the injury has occurred to prevent any negative consequences and to improve the chances of quick rehabilitation. Furthermore, depending on the nature and the type of injury that is worker has suffered he may require more intensive medical intervention and more medication to recover fully. Therefore it is tremendously important to provide compensation for the cost of medical treatment that the worker has incurred.
While this might seem like a simple proposition one of the issues that crop up when it comes to claiming compensation for medical treatment is the fact that insurance agencies and the injured worker are rarely likely to agree on what the cost of medical treatment is. Without proper evidence and documentation, insurance companies are not likely to compensate the amount spent on medical treatment entirely.
If a worker finds himself in this predicament, one thing that he or she can do is to post this as a claim to the workers’ compensation agency as soon as possible and viable. Usually, a workers’ compensation agency is an administrative body that can intervene and find a path that is suitable to both the worker, as well as the insurance agency in question.
Depending on the type of injury that the worker has suffered it may be difficult for him to go back to his previous profession due to the nature of the injury. This affect his chances of being involved in gainful employment because it is likely that those jobs, which he could previously apply for will no longer be viable for him or her due to his or her injury. In such a scenario it is extremely important to rehabilitate such a person to be able to be employed in some other type of job. This is the main principle behind vocational rehabilitation. if they enjoyed worker is insured by the employer then the injured worker is entitled to claim compensation to be trained in some other vocation that they can take up. This is one of the most beneficial types of compensation provided because it gives a new lease of life to the injured worker and allows him to be employed and take charge of his life himself.
Full coverage of work injury
Despite getting compensation and insurance, the extend of the injuries suffered by the worker may be so extensive that the amount that are given to him in the form of compensation may not be enough to actually resituate him to the state that he was in before the injury occurred. Furthermore given that medical expenses are pretty high, the worker needs to find it hard to manage all his medical expenses with the initial amount of compensation provided. Lost wages and earning opportunities are another factor which affects workers who have been injured.
It has been witnessed that in a lot of scenarios, employers are not forthcoming when it comes to paying compensation for lost wages and lost wage opportunities. In such a scenario one of the things that the injured worker can do is hire the services of a personal injury attorney and file a workplace accident compensation claim.
Factors affecting the settlement amount
Like it has been previously stated and in this article there are different factors which affect the amount of settlement that an injured worker is entitled to claim. Here are some of the factors which determine as to how much compensation a worker may be entitled to.
The report of a doctor or a licensed medical examiner plays a huge role in determining how much compensation a person is entitled to. For instance one of the most important required documents in case you are planning to claim compensation for a workplace injury is the report of your doctor. However, in certain cases, a company doctor me down play the extent of the injury suffered in order to reduce the compensation that the worker is entitled to. if you believe that there are chances of a conflict of interest, the best way forward is to seek the services and take a report from an unbiased doctor or physician to ensure that you get what you are due.
Future medical costs
The thing with certain types of injuries is the fact that they do not go away immediately and require constant intervention and constant treatment in order to become better. This is especially the case with chronic conditions and those types of disabilities that are more permanent in nature. In such cases, it is unfair to only compensate the injured worker for the preliminary cost of treatment. This is because the costs of recovery and rehabilitation may be fairly high. Keeping this possibility in mind, worker compensation is determined on the basis of possible future medical costs that the worker will have to bear as well.
Consider seeking legal representation
One of the most important things that a worker can do to protect his rights and to claim compensation in case he has been injured is to seek legal representation. Personal injury attorneys can provide significant information on how to navigate the scenario in a manner that will not affect the workers’ rights to claim compensation entirely. While many people are tempted to wait for the company itself to compensate them, it so happens that waiting for a long period of time may affect the chances of claiming compensation. Therefore it is better to make haste and to approach the entire situation in an organised manner. This is one of the things that a lawyer can significantly help with. Furthermore, an attorney can also be a good bridge between the insurance company and the injured worker.
Wages of the worker
The wages that the worker was previously earning is another factor that goes into determining how much compensation that the injured worker is entitled to.
Therefore while it might seem like claiming compensation post an injury is difficult and complicated, it can be done with a little bit of research and good organization. If you believe that you will not be able to handle the claim yourself, it will help to seek the services of a qualified attorney.