The Real Cost of a Work Injury
Can employees get the compensation that they deserve?
The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration reports that employers pay out $1 billion every week to directly compensate employees for workplace injuries and illnesses. As a worker, you may or may not receive compensation for missed wages. Even if you do, you might still lose out on other areas of life. How can you put a price on the inability to go grocery shopping, play with your children and live the active lifestyle that you deserve?
The most obvious cost of a workplace injury or sickness is lost wages. If you can’t work, you might not get paid. However, most employers are required to cover their workers if they get hurt or sick because of their job. This may include one accident that results in an injury or repetitive motions that cause you harm over time. Workers’ compensation might even cover stress-related and psychological issues that are sparked by your job.
If a doctor can show that you can’t work because of your ailment, you can get temporary disability benefits until you heal. When the incident makes it impossible for you to go back to work, you can push for permanent disability benefits.
Workers’ compensation requires your employer to pay for any medical bills and costs associated with the accident. This might include copayments, office visits, tests, equipment and travel costs that are necessary for treating the problem.
Pain and Suffering
Lost wages and medical bills are fairly straightforward to quantify. However, if you’ve been hurt because of your job, you might wonder what the cost of your distress is worth.
Lost wages can make you lose out in other financial areas. You might not be able to pay your rent or utility bills. This might result in additional fees that pile up over time.
Some psychological injuries are covered under Virginia’s Workers’ Compensation legislation. For example, you may be able to receive payments if you developed PTSD from a sudden shock that arose directly from doing your job.
Most Workers’ Compensation regulations do not cover pain and suffering. You might be able to recover some money for emotional distress in some cases. Working with an experienced attorney can help you get the compensation that you deserve.
Can You Sue Your Employer?
Workers’ Compensation laws were enacted to help workers get quick compensation for their missed salary and medical costs. The legislation is a no fault arrangement. You don’t have to prove that your employer was responsible in order to file a claim.
However, the legislation also protects your employer. You can’t usually sue for damages unless you can prove extreme negligence on your employer’s part.
Workers’ compensation is regulated by the states. Each state has different standards that designate what will be covered, how your situation will be evaluated and the level of benefits you can receive. Contact Montagna Law for a free consultation that will help you understand how to recoup the costs from your workplace injury in Virginia.