Most people work a job to survive, but what they never expect is to get injured while working.
Workplace injuries are mitigated by strategies like workplace safety training and adhering to safety guidelines. However, they still occur often and it’s usually a result of negligence.
When your employer or a coworker acts negligently and causes you an injury, you are entitled to compensation for it. This comes in the form of workers’ compensation, which almost any business of more than one employee will have.
While it’s incredibly beneficial to help you cope with the aftermath of an injury, workers’ compensation doesn’t cover pain and suffering. Considering this, you might be wondering what is covered by workers’ compensation.
We’ll take a look at the four major categories you can receive benefits for below.
The first covered category includes lost wages.
Most significant injuries will make it impossible to work. Any injury that requires you to stay in bed or limits your mobility makes you unfit for work.
If you can’t work, then you aren’t earning your normal paycheck. This is unfair to you and why workers’ compensation covers lost wages.
While you won’t get the full amount of your salary, you’ll receive an amount that varies depending on your state. An average figure is around 67% of your normal income.
As you can see, workers’ compensation does not necessarily make you whole. However, it provides some financial assistance to tide you over while you recover.
Medical bills are another major cost that workers’ compensation will cover.
Just about any injury that takes you out of commission will send you to the hospital. This will surely result in bills for your visit, treatment, and medication.
As you are not responsible for your injuries, you are not required to pay for them under workers’ compensation insurance. Unlike compensation for lost wages, your medical expenses will typically be fully covered.
The best part about this benefit is that it addresses both sudden and long-term injuries. This means that developing a degenerative condition like carpal tunnel as a result of normal job duties would also make you eligible for compensation.
This is significant because some medical conditions will entail ongoing costs. Fortunately, workers’ compensation will cover these.
If vocational rehabilitation is necessary, then workers’ compensation will also help pay for it.
Some injuries are so devastating that you may never be able to resume your regular duties. A good example of this is a construction worker that can no longer lift heavy weights or perform forceful movements.
If you’re never able to resume the same job, you’ll likely want to pursue a new career. This is certainly not easy because you have no training or experience.
Making matters worse, learning a new vocation will take time and money. Workers’ compensation accounts for this and will help you train the skills necessary for a new career.
This means that workers’ compensation can also be used to help you create a new income stream upon recovering.
Lastly, should the situation involve a fatality, any survivors will be eligible for benefits from the deceased’s workers’ compensation insurance.
While deaths on the job are fairly rare, they do still happen and this becomes more likely when someone is being negligent. If someone passes away due to an incident, their family will be affected by the loss of income.
Workers’ compensation will provide financial assistance to surviving family members of a deceased worker. This is often paid in installments or a lump sum.
If it is an installment, then usually 67% of their monthly wages are paid each month for a set period. Often, this is until their spouse remarries, passes away, or a child turns 18. Lump sums tend to be a few years worth of 67% wages.
Survivor benefits from workers’ compensation will never make up for the loss of a family member, but they can at least help cover some costs while you address the immediate shock of death.
Workers’ compensation insurance is fantastic coverage that assists workers injured on the job. Not all injuries are covered. You must be hurt as a result of the negligence of others (not your own) to receive benefits.
Furthermore, not all costs associated with a serious injury are compensated. The categories that are covered include lost wages, medical bills, vocational rehabilitation, and benefits for surviving family members.
While workers’ compensation can certainly be useful, it may not be your best choice when dealing with a workplace injury. Consider consulting an attorney to see if you have a better option to receive a fairer settlement for your suffering.