Workers' Compensation FAQ

Can I Sue My Employer if I am Hurt on the Job?

No. An injured worker cannot receive damages awarded by a jury, as may be true for a car accident. The workers' compensation system is the exclusive remedy. If the Employer unlawfully does not have workers' comp insurance, it may be possible to sue.

Employers with four (4) or more employees, part-time or full-time, are required to have workers' compensation coverage.

What Money Benefits Does the Workers' Compensation Law Provide?

Generally, an injured worker is entitled to lost wages up to a maximum of 104 weeks and additional monetary benefits after medical treatment is finished. These additional benefits are known as “income impairment benefits” and are paid on a sliding scale, typically about 2 weeks paid for every percentage of impairment. If a worker has suffered a severe injury (for example brain injury) or is unable to engage in sedentary work, he/she may be eligible for permanent and total disability benefits, which are due and owing for the life of the injured worker.

What Medical Benefits Does the Workers' Compensation Law Provide?

The law requires reasonable and necessary medical care. This can include specialists; physical therapists; testing such as an MRI and even mileage for office visits. Medical benefits can be available for the lifetime of the injured worker, if reasonably and medically necessary.

Are Workers' Compensation Benefits Taxable by the Internal Revenue Service?

No. Although normally reported on required tax forms, the injured worker does not pay any tax to the U.S. Federal Government.

When Should I Report an Injury to an Employer?

Injuries should be reported as soon as possible, but no later than 30 days after an accident. It is important that the injured worker request medical care. It is wise to report an injury in writing, either by e-mail or U.S. mail, so as to maintain evidence.

Should I Ever Use Major Medical Insurance Instead of Workers' Compensation?

No. Major medical policies do not cover on the job injuries. A workers' compensation carrier is not obligated to follow the instructions of a doctor you obtain on your own.

How is a Dispute Resolved Between Me and the Workers' Compensation Carrier?

Many disputes can be resolved by your lawyer directly with the workers' compensation insurance carrier or its lawyers. There is a Judge of Compensation Claims and an entire court system devoted to workers' compensation litigation.

Can I Choose My Own Doctor?

No. Unfortunately, the law generally gives choice of medical provider to the insurance carrier. An injured worker is always entitled to a one time change of care and a medical specialist when appropriate (for example, an orthopedist or neurologist).

Is It Possible to Settle a Workers' Compensation Case for Cash?

Yes, the law allows a voluntary settlement of workers' compensation benefits. This means that the injured worker is giving up the right to all future benefits, including medical care. A workers' compensation judge does not determine the settlement; it is negotiated by your lawyer.

If you have been injured on the job, you may have a valid workers' compensation claim. Please contact Randy Zeldin for a free case review.

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