If you're injured on the job, you might be able to get workers' compensation benefits. Workers' compensation is an insurance program that provides medical benefits to the injured worker, regardless of fault. When accepting these benefits, you may be giving up your right to file a civil lawsuit for pain and suffering against your employer.
Benefits provided can cover medical expenses such as medications, hospital costs and expenses related to the treatment of the injury or illness. Temporary total benefits will be paid if the employee is unable to work for seven days up to the statutory maximum of 400 weeks. These benefits are typically paid at a rate of 70 percent of the employee's earnings. Permanent partial benefits are another form of benefit in situations where an injury causes permanent impairment, and the benefits are based on the level of loss suffered as a result of the injury or illness. Permanent total benefits are paid when you are permanently unable to return to your job as a result of the injury, which is also based on 70 percent of earnings and begins beyond a disability period of 450 weeks.
When this type of injury or illness occurs, it can take an emotional and financial toll on you and your family. In cases of fatalities that are a result of a workplace injury or illness, you may also be entitled to death benefits to help compensate for the loss of your loved one's financial contributions to your household.
In cases of workers' compensation, it is not mandatory that you hire an attorney. However, it would be in your best interests to do so. It can be a complicated situation and having expert legal advice will help greatly in guiding all parties involved through the process.