This past December in Paterson, New Jersey, the city settled a workers’ compensation claim filed by employee Jerome Deas, who was injured when he fell into a garbage truck while working. The city paid $12,699. Workers compensation is intended to assist employees who become injured, disabled or killed during their employment.
If you get hurt at work, you might be wondering what you’re supposed to do, and exactly how much you can expect to receive as possible compensation from your employer. Here are three questions you should know the answers to.
1. What do I do If I Get Hurt at Work?
It’s no surprise that injuries happen in the workplace; the top three most frequently violated OSHA standards in 2013 were fall protection in construction, hazard communication standards in general industry, and scaffolding general requirements in construction. If you get hurt at work, it’s important to immediately alert your supervisor and ensure that there is documentation of the event. Do this even if the injury does not seem serious. If it were to become infected, or turn out to be worse than it originally appeared, you want to be covered. If necessary, go to the hospital or emergency room approved by your employer’s insurance.
2. What Happens If I Get Hurt at Work?
Once you’ve established that you’ve been injured, you will be entitled to workers compensation, which can include pay as well as reimbursement of medical and other expenses. The amount of money you receive is usually dependent on the severity of your injury, as well as where you live. In Arizona, for example, as of 2008 your compensation for missed work is based on your monthly wage, and it cannot exceed $3,000 per month.
3. Should I Hire a Workers Compensation Attorney?
It’s generally a good idea to have a lawyer anytime you need to show yourself in court. Whether or not you absolutely need one will depend on the challenges of your specific case. If the incident was mild in nature and your losses were fairly minimal (such as, a sprained foot leading to two weeks of wages lost), hiring an attorney might not be worth it. On the other hand, if your injuries required surgery, were more severe, or they make you unable to return to your job, then it might be time to hire an attorney to make sure that your case is adequately represented.
Do you need to hire a workers compensation attorney?