Have you or someone you know recently encountered a serious injury outside of your work field or at work? Do you have questions regarding worker’s compensation? Do you wish to know whether you are eligible to get full pay if you get badly injured at work?
If your answer to all these questions is yes, then you have nothing to worry about as you have come to the right place. Knowing your own rights at the workplace is extremely pertinent so that you can avoid future mishaps and imbalances.
Now although the question of whether you will get paid or not depends on your particular company’s policy and regulations, there are several factors to consider that we will get into, so without further ado, let’s dive in.
Table of Contents
Understanding worker’s compensation
Many people out there do not fully understand a worker’s compensation definition as most of them believe it is the company’s way of apologizing and giving holidays to recover. To put it simply, workers’ compensation is a way to provide the injured person with medical care and wage benefits.
The coverage is mandated as a law by almost every state, and without it, a company cannot work. It can be said that a worker’s compensation is social insurance as it relies on two parties, the individual and the company whom the person is working for.
Four types of benefits
Before we get into the system of getting paid for a work-related injury, it is important that we know about the various types of benefits that you can get. Typically there are four main types of benefits that your company may offer to you by way of compensation for the injury you have endured during work.
These four benefits are weekly compensation, permanent impairment, medical benefits, and lastly, rehabilitation support. It is important to keep in mind that all these four categories are different and vary slightly in terms of their importance and usage within a company. Sometimes companies change policies after every 4 to 5 years to keep up with the changing economy and finances.
Now you may be asking yourself, how is worker’s compensation calculated? Is it through the amount of damage and trauma suffered by the worker/ employee? Well, to answer your question, a worker’s compensation is carefully measured on a system called “experience rating.” This system allows for the measure and calculation of the damage and loss history that a business has to cover.
In a state, when similar injuries occur within different businesses, they all are grouped together into what is known as “classes.” In these classes, a particular rate is determined for the loss costs in five years or so. The benefit of this is that it provides an equitable system where the rates are charged as an average of the classes as supposed to having them being charged separately for every company/ business.
For instance, if you are someone who has been working at a company for more than five years and have encountered multiple injuries, the state will look for other businesses whose employees have also gone through work-related injury, then these businesses will be regarded as a class, and their rate will be determined by the government.
If you or someone you know has been badly injured at work that prevents them from getting their work done in seven days or so, then by the law of every state, they fall under the category of weekly compensation.
Now it is worth mentioning that the weekly compensation rate of payment varies from state to state or even city; for instance, in Georgia, the weekly compensation is paid at two-thirds of your average weekly wage.
Another thing to keep in mind is that the amount of weekly compensation may change over the years due to external factors such as economic imbalance, work pressure, changes in demographic, government, and much more.
So to conclude, it can be said that weekly compensation does not cover the entire wage that you normally receive but do account for some degree of compensation while you are away.
Permanent and temporary disability
The amount of days you get off from work actually depends on the severity of your injury. To consider this, there are two types of weekly benefits that you receive, which are known as temporary and permanent disability.
In temporary disability, you are considered to be able to work again once you recover, whereas, in permanent disability, you are regarded as incapable of working due to your severe condition. In some states, there is another category known as a partial disability, which essentially means that you are able to work but only perform light and moderate activities. All of these disability categories do not have any effect on your pay, as you will still be eligible to get them during your recovery stages.
Now you may be wondering what exactly happens in permanent disability? Like we have said before, permanent disability is stated when there is permanent damage to the bone or any other parts of the body that prevents them from hearing, walking, talking, and overall working.
In these cases, you may be able to get higher ratings of workers’ compensation which is viewed and reflected by a list prepared by your state’s government.
Knowing your legal rights
Often times employees are frightened to ask for a worker’s compensation from their employer as they believe that they do not fall under the ” category” of owning a worker’s compensation when in reality, this is not true at all.
You have to keep in mind that you are required, by the law, to understand, acknowledge, and use your legal rights in case of injuries that prevent you from working.
Your legal rights include the right to file a claim for your injury, the right to medical treatment, the right to return to work after you have been treated by your physician, your right to disability compensation, and a right to appeal the decision of your employer and much more.
It is worth mentioning that while you understand these rights, you also understand your right to refuse certain requests or offers made by your company/ business. You are under no obligation to follow any offers which would bring prosperity and benefits to your business and not for your own personal benefits.
Damages that are compensated
Besides suffering from an injury that may result in cuts, bruises, loss of body parts, and problems in hearing or viewing, you are also obliged to file for a worker’s compensation if you have other damages.
These damages may include but are not limited to medical expenses such as medications, surgeries, supplies, pain, and suffering endured during, and after the injury that puts you in a severe emotional state, loss of enjoyment, and income lost both for past and for future, etc. Many people out there believe that worker’s compensation is only given to experienced workers when in reality, this is not the case.
If you want to know more about your rights, it is better to hire an attorney who will help you recognize and maintain your legal rights and present them to the court so that you may get all the benefits and rewards that you deserve. Greensboro Workers’ Compensation Lawyers are great and experienced lawyers that work with you to help you acknowledge your rights and benefits.
The majority of the time, people working for a business or a company tend to ignore their legal rights and fully rely on the decisions made by their employer. It is important to keep in mind that although your employer holds the power of rules and policies implemented at the workplace, he or she does not have the right to hold your worker’s compensation due to personal reasons.
In cases where you, as an active employee, have received an injury at the workplace, your employer cannot hold you accountable or neglect your right to have any sort of worker’s compensation and off days. If you take a leave for less than seven days, then you are not obliged to give a fit note to your employer, but if you do not attend to your work for more than seven days, then a fit note is absolutely necessary.
If you successfully give your employer the reasons for your off days and provide them with medical proof and reasoning, then your employer is required to inform you about your worker’s compensation.
If for some reason, your employer has asked you to work despite your medical condition worsening, then you are eligible to hold them accountable by filing a report against them. It is worth mentioning that this does not mean that you will lose your job or get your points taken away; instead, you may be compensated by the state government.
So hopefully, by now, you have been able to understand the concept of worker’s compensation and understand more about your legal rights to file for it and claim the benefits. While it is a great thing to do research online for your worker compensation, it is also important that you hire a lawyer who has a better understanding of your rights and will ensure that you do not end up suffering from any sort of injustice laid by the employer or your company.
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