When the worst happens and you are involved in a workplace accident, workers' comp insurance is there for you. You can expect to get some of your salary and all of your medical bills taken care of while you get better. In some cases, however, you are not able to recover from your injuries completely. Here are the phases of workers' comp and getting back to work. Your workers' comp benefits can change as your injury ages through these phases.
Initial benefits: This phase can last anywhere from a few hours to several months, depending on the seriousness of your injury. When people mention workers' comp, this is the phase that they are likely referring to. Once you have reported your injury to your supervisor and are approved for coverage, you can expect to receive a certain portion of your salary while you stay home and get better. In most cases, you are back at work in no time once the doctor releases you.
Permanent benefits: In some cases, your injury does not heal or is more serious. You may be asked to undergo a special exam to determine whether or not you have a permanent injury. If your injury has been ruled to be at maximum medical improvement (MMI), your benefits will shift to a more permanent one.
Partial permanent benefits: Not all injuries preclude doing every type of work, even a permanent one. If you can be retrained to do a different type of job, or to return to your old job part time or light duty, you may be able to do so and still make up the difference with permanent partial benefits.
Partial permanent disabilities
When you are ruled to have a partial disability, the level of that disability is assigned a percentage value. For example, you may be ruled to be 65% disabled. In most cases, you can still work and earn some partial benefits, depending on your disability. Vocational rehabilitation is often offered to retrain those who can still work. For instance, if you can no longer stand for long periods of time, you may be retrained to work at a seated position, such as at a desk. The amount of your workers' comp benefits depends on the percentage of work you are still able to do. In the example above, you would be entitled to earn 35% of your former salary, which will paid either in payments or lump sum.
When it comes to negotiating a fair workers' comp settlement, you may need the services of a workers' comp attorney like Bishop Dorfman Kroupa & Bishop PC.