Anytime you are injured while in the course and scope of your employment, you are entitled to workers compensation benefits from your employer or your employer’s insurance carrier. You do not need to prove that anyone was at fault for causing your injury or condition only that you sustained an injury while on the job. As detailed below there are four basic workers’ compensation benefits – (1) Medical Benefits, (2) Temporary Disability and (3) Permanent Partial Disability Benefits and (4) Permanent Total Disability Benefits.
There are two types of claims in workers’ compensation – injuries from accidents and injuries from “occupational claims”. Each of these claims have particular notice and Statute of Limitation requirements. It is important for you and your co-workers to be aware of these requirements in order to protect your rights.
In addition to accidents, workers’ compensation benefits are due and owing for injuries which are due or caused by “conditions which are or were characteristic of or peculiar to a particular trade, occupation, process or place of employment”. Typical of these claims are asbestos claims, carpal tunnel syndrome from repetitive use of hands, or low back injuries from repeated heavy lifting.
The workers’ compensation system is unique in that it provides a mechanism for the injured employee to reopen a settled claim. This is called a Modification of Formal Award and must be made within two years from the date of last payment of a benefit. In order to receive additional benefits, the employee must show a material worsening of his condition by objective credible medical evidence. If this is proven then the injured employee may once again be entitled to medical benefits, temporary disability benefits and/or additional permanent partial disability benefits.
While this summary provides the basics of some areas of workers’ compensation benefits it does not cover all of the issues that arise in workers’ compensation cases. Please contact us for a free consultation if you have any questions concerning work related injuries.