The workers’ compensation system is designed to help protect and help both employees and employers. The employer is protected because when an employee sustains a work-related injury, the employee can usually only recover benefits through the workers’ compensation system. In other words, the employee typically cannot file a civil suit against the employer for negligence. An employee is protected because he or she does not have to prove fault or negligence on the part of the employer in order to obtain benefits. If you own a business, it is important for you to understand the types of benefits your employee may receive.
One of the most obvious types of benefits that the employee will receive is medical costs for treatment of his or her injury. The medical treatment benefits will include the costs of treatment for an acute injury, such as going to the emergency room or emergency surgery. What some employers fail to realize, however, is that the covered medical expenses will also include ongoing expenses, such as physical therapy, acupuncture, or medical equipment. If the injury is a mental injury, such as post-traumatic stress disorder, the medical costs would also include psychiatric care.
Temporary disability benefits are another type of benefits that will be awarded. Temporary disability benefits are designed to provide a replacement for the lost wages for the time during which an employee is not able to return to work after sustaining a work-related injury. An employee will receive two-thirds of his or her average weekly pay for up to 104 weeks within five years of the date of the injury.
Permanent disability is not designed to address the same issue as a temporary disability. Permanent disability is designed to address a permanent loss of function that the employee experiences as a result of the work-related injury. The amount the employee receives will depend on the degree of disability, as determined by medical professionals, up to two hundred ninety dollars a week.
Workers may also be eligible for job displacement benefits. If a worker is permanently disabled and as a result cannot return to his or her job, then he or she may apply to receive a voucher for retraining. The injured worker can go back to school to be trained for a new position.
We have extensive experience helping our clients understand the benefits in a workers’ compensation case and what that means for their business. Call us today for a consultation.