Is there an employment relationship?There must be an employment relationship between the employer and the employee. There are some individuals who are ineligible to receive workers’ compensation benefits. These excluded individuals are farm laborers, certain independent contractors, railroad workers, domestic servants and people who were engaging in employment that was not within the normal course of the employer’s business.
What are some types of work-related injuries?
- repetitive use injuries
- aggravation of a pre-existing condition
- injuries due to a sudden specific incident at work (i.e. cuts at work, lifting injury causing arm, neck or back symptoms)
- broken bones
- torn ligaments
- hernia injury
- psychological injury
- heart attack
Is the injury compensable?The injured worker must show that there is some causal connection between the injury that occurred and the working conditions. Also, the injury must have resulted during the time, place and circumstances of the working environment. If this is established, then the claim would be compensable and the injured worker would be entitled receive the applicable workers’ compensation benefits.
What benefits are available for compensable claims?For a compensable on-the-job injury, there are various types of workers’ compensation benefits an injured worker could be eligible to receive. The individual facts of a case determine which benefits an injured worker would be eligible to receive. Some of these benefits include the following:
- weekly income benefits
- medical benefits
- permanent partial disability benefits
- rehabilitation benefits
- death benefits for dependents of a decedent
What are temporary total and temporary partial disability benefits?Temporary total disability benefits are typically awarded or given to the injured worker when the worker is on a no work status as related to the on-the-job injury or when the employer cannot accommodate the injured worker’s job restrictions. Temporary partial disability benefits are typically awarded or given to the injured worker when the worker has returned to work for the employer but earns less due to the on-the-job injury.
What are permanent partial disability benefits?Permanent partial disability (PPD) benefits are available for injured workers who have a permanent impairment due to the on-the-job injury.
Can an injured worker receive medical benefits for a compensable on-the-job injury?Yes, medical benefits are available for injured workers who have a compensable injury. There are various issues which commonly arise in litigation regarding medical benefits. Some of these issues arise due to the following:
- Denied medical treatment for the on-the-job injury
- The employer and insurance carrier’s failure to provide the injured worker with a valid panel of physicians
- The employer and insurance carrier’s refusal to allow the injured worker to choose another physician