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Do I Get Full Pay If I’m Injured At Work?
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Your employer will likely pay you through workers' compensation if you are hurt at work. But can you get full payment?

As a workers' compensation lawyer, I've helped my clients secure more reasonable settlements for their medical treatment expenses. 

In this article, I will discuss the aspects of a work-related injury that might impact the compensation you receive.

Quick Summary

  • You may have the ability to file a lawsuit if your employer does not have workers' compensation insurance.
  • The amount of time when you can receive these payments after a work injury is relative to the intensity of your disability.
  • An injured worker who is permanently disabled receives the same compensation as someone who is only temporarily disabled.

What Are My Employer’s Obligations if I Am Injured at Work?

A worker in the office with an aching shoulderIf you are injured at work, your employer's obligations include providing you with information about the workers' compensation system and filing a claim on your behalf.

They will also pay for your medical treatment, provide you with income replacement benefits, and offer you a return-to-work program.

To recover, you must be able to receive paid sick leave—either Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) or extra sick pay, depending on your contract.

What Is Workers’ Compensation?

Workers' compensation is a state-mandated insurance program. Every employer must carry workers' compensation insurance. The program pays benefits to employees who are injured or become ill as a direct result of their job duties. 

Benefits can include medical expenses, lost wages, loss of consortium, loss of enjoyment, income replacement, and death benefits.

To be eligible for the benefits, you must have been injured or become ill while performing your duties. By hiring a workers' compensation lawyer, you are protecting your legal rights against your employer and their insurance company. 

These rights include filing an official claim for your injury or illness in workers' compensation court.

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3 Types of Benefits You Can Expect After an Injury at Work

A worker in the office with a neck injury

Following an injury or illness at work, you may be eligible for a variety of benefits; however, you may not get your full pay.

You might be qualified for one or more of the following four kinds of benefits:

  1. Weekly compensation
  2. Medical benefits
  3. Permanent impairment benefits
  4. Rehabilitation support

Because your injuries and how they impact your ability to work will determine the advantages you receive, it's critical to learn all you can about these kinds of settlements.

1. Weekly Workers’ Compensation Benefits

A person with a hurting neck in the officeIf you can't work because of your work injury, you may be able to get weekly compensation benefits. This will help you pay for basic needs like food and housing. 

The amount you get may vary depending on where you live, but it usually won't be more than $575 per week.

Workers' compensation benefits will not provide you with your full salary while recovering from an injury, but they will account for two-thirds of your regular wage.

2. Medical Benefits for Your Treatment

As an injured worker, you are entitled to workers' compensation benefits if you are hurt at work and file a claim. These costs include:

  • Doctor visits
  • Hospital stays
  • Medical tests
  • Prescription medications
  • Medical equipment, such as wheelchairs or crutches
  • Physical therapy
  • Transportation cost to and from the doctor's appointment.

3. Disability Benefits Through Workers’ Compensation

An office worker with a neck injury

If you cannot return to your job because of a workplace injury, you may be eligible for disability compensation. Benefits typically fall into these the following categories.

Temporary Total Disability

A small number of those who suffer from a work-related injury are eligible for temporary total disability for a set time. To qualify for temporary full disability benefits, you must be unable to resume working for at least seven days. If you miss out on work for 21 days or more, you will still get paid for the first week.

Temporary Partial Disability

If your work-related injury impacts your ability to earn an income, you may be eligible for temporary partial disability benefits. This could mean working fewer hours, taking a less demanding role, or earning a lower wage.

Permanent Total Disability

After you have improved as much as possible under workers' compensation, your doctor will assess your condition. If they determine that you have a permanent disability, you will be eligible for permanent and total disability benefits in most cases.

Permanent Partial Disability

Permanent partial disability payments are equal to the temporary total disability rate, and the duration of these benefits is based on the injured body part.

4. Rehabilitation Benefits for Career Support

If your work injury is severe enough that you can't return to the same job or company, workers' compensation benefits can help with services like vocational rehabilitation and career support.

The purpose of rehabilitation benefits is to help you keep your job by providing the necessary training or services required to return to work.

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For How Long After a Work Injury Can You Keep Receiving Payments?

The amount of time you can keep receiving payments after a workplace injury depends on the severity of your disability.

In some cases, injured employees may be eligible to receive weekly payments for up to 400 weeks from the date of their injury. If an injured employee cannot return to work, they may continue to receive benefits until they can [1].

Types of Injuries You Can Get Paid For

A warehouse worker in an accident laying down on the floorIf you are injured at work, your employer is responsible for paying for your injury. Injuries can be caused by one-time events or repeated exposures at work.

  • Accidents involving slipping and falling
  • Getting hurt by an object falling from a height
  • Burns from exposure to toxic substances unintentionally
  • Back pain from lifting heavy items without proper support
  • Carpal tunnel syndrome 

The Requirements for Filing a Workers’ Compensation Claim

You can do a few things to help with your workers' compensation claims:

  • Create a record of the accident and your work-related injuries as soon as possible in the accident book. 
  • Report the accident to your site or floor manager and create a written incident report. This will ensure that your employer knows about the accident and that they can't deny it happened when you come to file your workers' compensation claim.

If your employer's insurance company does not have workers' compensation insurance, you may be able to file a personal injury claim.

“After being injured at work, you have the right to seek benefits from your employer’s workers’ compensation insurance. While workers’ comp may not pay the full amount you were making before, it should cover a portion of your weekly pay, and you may be able to seek higher compensation through a settlement."
- John M. Foy, Personal Injury Attorney


FAQs

Is Your Employer Required to Pay You if You Are Injured at Work?

No, your employer is not required to pay if you are injured at work unless it is written in your contract. However, some employers pay employees sick pay when they are injured.

Can an Employer Refuse to Pay Me Sick Pay if I Am Injured at Work?

Yes, your employer can refuse to pay you sick pay if you are injured at work. However, they must have a justifiable reason. If not, you should speak to a lawyer specializing in employment law.

How Much Will You Get Paid if Injured at Work?

If you get injured at work, how much you get paid will depend on how severe your injuries are, how much the cost of your medical treatment is, how many days of income you lose and whether you need any special equipment or care.

Am I Entitled to Statutory Sick Pay if I Am Injured at Work?

Yes, you are entitled to statutory sick pay if you are injured at work, especially if you are an employee at the company.

Do You Want to File a Work Injury Claim?

If you get hurt while working, you can request support from your employer's workers' compensation insurance. This usually won't cover your entire former salary, but it could make up a portion of what you were paid each week. In some cases, negotiation might result in additional payments.

Contact Schmidt & Clark for a free consultation with a team of experienced workers' compensation lawyers who are familiar with all the workers' compensation laws. We aim to ensure you get the best possible outcome and receive the full amount of money you're owed.


Reference:

  1. https://sbwc.georgia.gov/sites/sbwc.georgia.gov/files/related_files/site_page/provisions.pdf

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