Protecting The Rights of Injured Workers

Frequently Asked Questions

The following provides some common questions and answers for persons injured on the job.

Workers injured on the job are automatically entitled to three benefits:

(1) MEDICAL CARE. The injured employee is entitled to have all reasonable and necessary medical treatment paid for by the employer's Workers’ Compensation insurance carrier. Medical treatment must first be approved and authorized by your employer's authorized physicians. If you do not obtain approval and go to a private physician under your health insurance, you may be required to pay those bills yourself.

(2) TIME OUT OF WORK. If you are required to miss more than seven days of work, you are entitled to be paid 70% of your average gross weekly wage for your time missed up to a maximum rate set annually. To be eligible for these benefits, your time missed from work must have been authorized by the doctor.

(3) PERMANENCY AWARD. If your injury results in any permanent residual damage to your body, you may be eligible for a cash award fixed by a judge of compensation. These awards are based upon schedules of disability determined by the state.

Notify your supervisor – preferably in writing and the same day you are injured – that you suffered a work injury.

Request that your employer provide you with medical treatment.

Contact your union representative (if you have one) and this office for further information.

Make sure that the doctor fully understands your complaints and the extent of your injury.

Explain to the doctor the physical requirements of your job.

Attempt to return to work. If you cannot perform your job, tell your employer and ask to return to the doctor.

If you cannot perform your job, and your employer will not send you back to the doctor, contact us.

Always keep us informed of any developments in the case, including the status of your medical treatment, surgeries, doctor, and important contact information.

Keep track of and attend all scheduled medical appointments.

Notify us if your accident was caused by a third-party, meaning someone other than a co-worker or your employer. In that situation, you may have a personal injury claim in addition to your Workers’ Compensation claim.

The time to conclude your case depends on many factors, and some may take years to resolve. However, as a general guideline, most cases can be resolved within one year after completing medical treatment.

It does not matter whether your injury was your fault. As long as you did not intentionally injure yourself, you will be entitled to Workers’ Compensation benefits.

There are strict time limits to filing claims. Generally, you should notify your supervisor as soon as possible after the accident and have your attorney file a formal Claim Petition on your behalf within two years after the date of injury or exposure. These time limits may depend on other factors, and you are cautioned to contact an attorney to discuss your circumstances immediately to make sure that your claim will not be time-barred.. In certain circumstances, the time limit may be extended past the two years. Still, you would need to discuss your attorney before that period expiring whether your case involves such rules or risk your claim being barred forever.

Attorney fees are only awarded in the event of recovery on your behalf. This fee is fixed by a Workers’ Compensation judge and may not ordinarily exceed 20% of your award. The employer or its insurance company is usually required to pay at least half of this fee. Also, the case's expenses will be subtracted from your recovery and apportioned between the parties by the Court.

It is ILLEGAL for any employer to retaliate or otherwise discriminate against you for seeking to collect your Workers’ Compensation benefits.