When you are injured on the job, your employer is required to provide benefits through an approved workers’ compensation insurance company. Contact the workers’ rights attorneys at Bangel, Cohen & Falconetti, LLP to discuss your rights as an injured worker.
Employee Injury Benefits
If you have been hurt in an on-the-job accident, have been exposed to harmful substances, or have suffered repetitive motion injuries, let us fight to get your full benefits for you. Even if you do not miss a day from work, you may be eligible for monetary compensation depending upon your injury.
Read about what you need to know, and your rights below.
Follow these steps to maximize the success of your workers’ compensation claim.
- If you are injured in an accident or are suffering from an occupational condition, you should seek medical attention immediately. Be sure to give your medical provider (or hospital) an accurate work history so the medical records will accurately document a work injury.
- Report the injury or illness to your boss or supervisor. The law requires that the injured worker must provide notice of a work-related accident or illness to the employer within 30 days. Written notice is not required. However, the filing of an accident report is advisable.
- File a C-3 form with the Workers’ Compensation Board. An injured employee has 2 years from the date of their accident, to file a claim for compensation In most occupational disease claims, the employee also has 2 years to file a claim measuring from the date the knew or should have known that the condition they suffered from was caused by work activity.
- Contact an experienced attorney. In workers’ compensation claims, you can obtain legal representation without any upfront or out-of-pocket expense. An attorney is only entitled to a fee if you receive benefits that are awarded in court by a law judge. If you are not happy with your current representation, you can obtain alternate counsel without any delay in your case and without additional expense.
- If your disability prevents you from working, you must see a doctor at least once every 6 weeks. The doctor is required to complete and file forms certifying that you are disabled. If there is a lapse in your treatment, the insurance company may not have to pay you for any time in which you do not have medical proof of your disability.
- You need to inform your doctors, attorneys, insurance company, and the Workers’ Compensation Board of any change of address or phone number.
Benefits under the Compensation Law:
- Medical treatment.
Once a compensation case has been accepted by the insurance company or established by the Workers’ Compensation Board, any medical treatment related to the accident is covered without any out of pocket expense. If a medical provider is requesting a test or procedure that cost less than $1,000 no advance authorization is required by the insurance carrier. However, for diagnostic tests (such as MRI’s) that cost less than $1,000 the insurance carrier can require the worker to choose a facility in the insurer’s network. If the cost of the test or procedure exceeds $1,000 the insurance carrier may require the injured worker to be evaluated by their own medical consultant who will be asked to render an opinion regarding whether they believe the test or procedure is medically necessary.In December of 2010, the Workers’ Compensation Board issued Medical Treatment Guidelines which apply to injuries to the neck back, shoulders and knees. These Guidelines dictate what treatment can be rendered automatically and what tests or procedures require approval from the carrier. Any treatment that is outside of the Guidelines requires a “variance” procedure that must be strictly followed. The implementation of these guidelines has resulted in an added barrier for injured workers to get the treatment they need. This is one of the many ways the experienced attorneys at Bangel, Cohen & Falconetti, LLP, can help.
- Weekly benefits for lost time from work.
The most an injured employee can receive while out of work is two-thirds of his or her average weekly wage up to the statutory maximum compensation rate for their date of accident. If you were injured between July 1, 1992 and July 1, 2007 the maximum weekly compensation rate is $400. Thereafter the maximum rate for accidents after July 1, 2007 has increased as follows:
If your accident date is after
- 7/1/07 the maximum weekly rate is $500.00
- 7/1/08 the maximum weekly rate is $550.00
- 7/1/09 the maximum weekly rate is $600.00
- 7/1/10 the maximum weekly rate is $739.83
- 7/1/11 the maximum weekly rate is $772.96
- 7/1/12 the maximum weekly rate is $792.07
- 7/1/13 the maximum weekly rate is $803.21
- 7/1/14 the maximum weekly rate is $808.65
- 7/1/15 the maximum weekly rate is $844.29
- 7/1/16 the maximum weekly rate is $864.32
The maximum weekly compensation rate will continue to change each year based upon two-thirds of the state average weekly wage.
- Awards for permanent injury.
If your injury involves an arm, leg, hand, foot, fingers, toes, loss of hearing or vision, or a facial scar you may be entitled to a monetary award even if you did not miss time from work. It is unlikely that either the insurance company or the Workers’ Compensation Board will take the necessary steps to ensure the injured worker receives this award. You should consult with an attorney to make sure that you receive the proper benefits that you are entitled to.
- Out of pocket expenses.
If an injured worker spends money for items such as bandages, prescription medications and similar items he or she can get reimbursed for the expense. It is essential to keep all receipts relating to such items so that they can be submitted to the insurance carrier. In addition, you are also entitled to be reimbursed for mileage for travel to and from your doctors, therapist, etc.
- Claims for reduced earnings.
If an injured worker returns to work following his or her injury and is making less money because they are not able to perform their previous job duties or unable work for as many hours per day or per week, they may be entitled to compensation benefits for the reduction in earnings. If this is the case it is imperative that you continue to see your doctors on a regular basis. It is also necessary that you keep a record of your pay stubs and tax returns in order to document the reduction in earnings.