If you've been injured at work, there are a lot of options available for compensation. The amount of compensation depends on the severity of your injury and the circumstances surrounding the incident, but one thing is for sure; if you're not feeling your 100% best after a supposed recovery, you should push for more compensation. Before signing anything, consider a few other options and get in contact with a workers compensation lawyer.
How Much Can Workers Compensation Help?
The workers compensation system varies by state, but there are a few shared traits that you can count on. If you've been injured on the job and it wasn't your fault, workers compensation can cover your immediate medical bills and wages. The goal of workers compensation is to support you financially until you're able to recover, but recovery isn't an option for everyone.
Even if you're able to return to work on your own after an injury, you may still have lingering physical or mental conditions. A broken leg may continue to hurt for months or years after an injury, or your vision may still be affected by what was supposed to be a temporary chemical splash. A few weeks of physical therapy and medical bill coverage may not be enough.
Seek medical attention as soon as possible, but don't sign any workers compensation documentation until you speak with a workers compensation lawyer. Although the standard set of workers compensation documentation is intended to gather your information and approve you for compensation, there may be other documents from the insurance company or your employer that could waive your right to pursue legal action.
It isn't impossible to fight against a hastily signed contract, especially if you signed the documents while in pain, but it does create a time consuming process that can cost a lot of money and progress.
What Other Options Are Available?
Depending on the situation, you may be available for programs such as Social Security Disability or Veterans Affairs Disability. You may be able to take the injury case to a personal injury claim, or seek unofficial assistance from your employer or those responsible.
If you've been injured to the point of being unable to work with no recovery in sight, Social Security's Disability program can assist you by providing a survivable income in your local economy. Unfortunately, if you're living a lifestyle based on a much higher income than the average payments seen in the disability program, you may not be able to enjoy life on Social Security alone. If the injury wasn't your fault, you shouldn't have to settle for less.
A personal injury claim can be brought against your employer if the injury was caused by the company's negligence, such as failing to repair faulty equipment or providing poor safety equipment.
If your injury was caused by an old injury becoming worse, such as falling because of a weakened leg that was injured in the past, you may want to refer to the previous incident for compensation. For military veterans, this may mean filing a new or updated injury claim with the Department of Veterans Affairs (known as the VA) in order to qualify for monetary compensation and medical benefits. If the original injury was caused during military service, you should demand support for any related issues that happen in the future.
Contact a workers compensation lawyer (such as one from Locklin & Mordhorst) to explore your options, including any programs that may work well together.
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