Workers’ Compensation: Medical Care
Depending on what type of injury you suffered while on the job, you might require various kinds of treatments to:
- Improve your quality of life, reduce pain, and increase mobility
- Regain as many of your previous abilities as possible
- Prevent complications, such as infection
Any treatment your doctor feels is necessary for your recovery should be paid for through workers’ compensation insurance. This includes (but is not limited to) the following types of treatments:
- Assistive devices
- Follow-up care
- Psychiatric treatment
- Physical therapy or rehabilitation
- Hospital stays
- Diagnostic tests
If a doctor assigned by your employer’s insurer disapproves a treatment you feel is necessary, you can either pay for it out of pocket, file an appeal, or hire a workers’ compensation lawyer to file an appeal on your behalf.
Workers’ Compensation: Temporary Disability Benefits
Temporary disabilities are injuries that currently cause you serious pain and inconvenience but that you expect to be able to recover from. Examples include:
- Bone fractures (also called broken bones)
- Back or neck pain (e.g., whiplash)
- Deep cuts or lacerations
- Treatable injuries to the eyes or ears
Although you will recover, the pain and financial stress these injuries cause are very real. Temporary disability benefits allow you to collect temporary compensation for your time off work. The benefits would stop when your doctor states that you are fit to return to work and have reached maximum medical improvement for your situation.
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Workers’ Compensation: Permanent Disability Benefits
If your injury is serious enough, it could affect your ability to work for the rest of your life. Examples of permanent disabilities include:
- Amputated limbs
- Traumatic brain injuries (TBI)
- Severely damaged or removed organs
- Severe scarring
Such injuries may lead to higher medical bills, more physical and emotional pain, and reduced ability to earn a living wage. Workers’ compensation should provide long-term compensation for permanent disabilities.
Workers’ Compensation: Supplemental Job Displacement Benefits
Sometimes, a permanent injury prevents someone from returning to their previous job, but the person is still capable of performing regular work. Such a person may require help finding and training for a new position that can accommodate their disability. This help can take the form of:
- Going back to school to earn a degree or certificate in a new field
- Speaking to a vocational rehabilitator to find out qualifying for different types of jobs
- Signing up for vocational rehabilitation training to qualify for any of the jobs the rehabilitator suggested
All of these paths cost money. Workers can ask for their workers’ compensation benefits to pay these costs, which would make it easier for them to get a new job to support themselves.
Workers’ Compensation: Death Benefits
If someone passes away after a workplace injury, their family could be saddled with many unexpected additional costs and financial losses, including those from:
- Loss of the deceased worker’s income
- Funeral or burial expenses
- Medical bills the deceased incurred prior to their death
Surviving family members can seek compensation for such losses from the deceased’s workers’ compensation benefits. This would make it easier for them to cope financially in the wake of their loved one’s sudden passing.
Determining What Type of Case You Have After a Work Injury
Several parties will play a role in deciding what type of benefits you can receive and how much money you could get. These parties include:
- Your employer: Your employer is responsible for reporting your injury to their workers’ compensation insurer. If they refuse, you can report directly to the insurer.
- Your employer’s insurer: The company might assign an insurance adjuster to investigate the accident and determine whether it will approve or deny your claim for compensation.
- Your doctor: This doctor will examine you, determine the severity of your injuries, and decide when (and if) you can return to work.
If you disagree with what these parties have to say about your case—for example, if your employer denies the accident ever happened—you could get help from a workers’ compensation attorney.
Hiring your lawyer is just one way to protect your rights after a workplace accident. The North Carolina Industrial Commission (NCIC) states that reporting your injury as soon as possible is very important. Your lawyer can explain your rights and obligations in more detail.
Get Help with Your Workers’ Compensation Case
Farmer & Morris Law, PLLC can assess your case at no charge and help you figure out which of the five types of workers’ compensation benefits you qualify for. Call today to get started. The sooner we begin helping you, the sooner you can get the money you need and deserve.