Workers in America went centuries without any basic rights. In the 1800s, for instance, if a person broke their leg on the job, they were just out of a job with no recompense. Luckily, workers’ compensation laws now ensure that those injured while performing their job are able to remain financially stable until they fully heal. Many individuals wonder, however, what happens if their work-related injury continues to worsen until it becomes a permanent disability. Luckily, there are still legal procedures meant to care for these employees.
An Initial Injury
Workers’ compensation insurance is basically meant to help out an employer and their workers. By having the promise that they’ll be cared for in the event of a work-related injury, workers give up the right to sue their employer in a majority of injury cases. This reduces the amount of litigation while still ensuring that a worker receives financial compensation after an injury, and this is regardless of who was at fault for the accident.
According to www.stroble.com, “Injuries and illnesses covered by workers’ compensation benefits can be caused by a specific incident or by constant and repetitive stresses of the job. Pre-existing conditions that are not work related but that are aggravated on the job also are covered. Workers’ compensation benefits may include coverage for: a portion of your lost wages,medical treatment,and rehabilitation expenses.The benefits you may receive typically are paid by your employer’s insurance company. In some cases, an employer may be required to provide vocational rehabilitation support for you for up to two years.”
The initial injury that a person suffers can lead to a variety of workers’ compensation benefits. The medical bills that a person faces related to the injury, for instance, will usually be covered. In addition, a person will receive payments to make up for their lost income from not being able to work. In instances where a person has to retrain for their or another job, workers’ comp benefits may even cover the training costs. Usually, these cases will be closed once a person has recovered, but certain difficulties may always arise in these situations.
When an Injury Worsens
There will sometimes be instances where an injury never heals and simply continues to deteriorate. In other instances, the injury may appear to heal but then slowly progress into a permanent disability. In either of these cases, there are a few options a person has before them. The most obvious option is to continue receiving workers’ comp benefits, but if a case has already been closed because the condition had healed, it can be reopened.
In addition, a person may be able to claim SSI disability payments. Before doing this, however, a person should speak with a legal professional to find out what their options are in that particular state. Each state has differing laws related to on-the-job injuries, so an individual may actually miss out on certain forms of compensation if they don’t have a sound legal understanding of a state’s laws.
Handling the Situation
A person must obviously alert their employer as soon as possible after suffering an injury, and this holds true even if the injury starts to deteriorate further down the road. It should be noted, though, that in instances where an injury appeared to heal only to turn into a permanent disability, there are usually time limits on how long a person has to reopen their workers’ comp case. These times limits are usually around five years after the closing of the claim, but once again, due to the variance in state laws, an attorney should be retained quickly just to be sure.
Being injured on the job is a double whammy. Not only will a person have medical bills to pay, but they will have lost the ability to work at the job that would’ve allowed them to pay those bills. Luckily, even if an injury consistently gets worse, following the aforementioned tips can go a long way in ensuring that a person is properly cared for after a work-related injury.
Lisa Becker, a writer based in Georgia, offers this information for those who have been hurt on the job and wondering about the next steps. Settlements or awards will vary, and insurance companies will offer the least amount possible. If in doubt, be sure to obtain proper legal representation, such as can be found at www.stroble.com in Michigan.