Does an Employer Pay an Employee While on Workers’ Comp?
Workers’ compensation is a form of insurance that provides medical benefits and wage replacement to employees who have been injured or become ill as a result of their job. While it varies depending on the jurisdiction and the specific circumstances, in general, workers’ compensation is meant to cover medical expenses and provide a portion of the injured employee’s wages while they are unable to work.
Understanding the intricacies of workers’ compensation and how it affects an employee’s pay can be confusing. At Katz, Leidman, Freund & Herman, we believe you have a right to know the ins and outs of workers’ compensation to protect your rights. In this article, we’ll break down the question of whether an employer must pay an employee while they are on workers’ comp.
What Are Workers’ Comp Benefits?
Workers’ compensation provides crucial financial support to employees injured on the job. These benefits aim to alleviate the financial strain caused by workplace injuries and assist in the recovery process. The key benefits typically include:
- Medical Coverage: Workers’ comp covers medical expenses related to the injury, encompassing doctor visits, hospital stays, surgeries, prescription medications, rehabilitative services, and other necessary treatments.
- Lost Wages Compensation: If the injury results in time away from work, workers’ comp often provides partial wage replacement. This compensation helps replace the income lost during the recovery period, ensuring financial stability while unable to work.
- Disability Benefits: For severe injuries leading to temporary or permanent disability, workers’ comp offers disability benefits. These benefits may include temporary total disability, temporary partial disability, permanent total disability, or permanent partial disability benefits, based on the severity and impact of the injury on one’s ability to work.
- Rehabilitation Programs: In cases where an injury prevents an employee from returning to their previous job, workers’ comp may cover vocational rehabilitation programs aimed at assisting in the transition to a new role or profession.
These benefits are designed to support injured workers throughout their recovery, providing essential financial assistance and necessary resources during a challenging period.
Will I Get Paid By My Employer While on Workers’ Compensation?
Workplace injuries can put a pause on your work life, and your livelihood. This is where workers’ compensation steps in. However, the pay does not come from your employer, but from the insurance company that covers your workers’ comp. This means that you will not be paid by your employer while on workers’ comp, but will instead rely on the benefits provided by the insurance company.
Workers’ comp insurance in New York typically pays approximately two-thirds of your average weekly wage. These benefits are intended to replace a portion of your lost income while you’re unable to work due to your workplace injury. Seeking guidance from experienced workers’ compensation attorneys, such as those at Katz, Leidman, Freund & Herman, can help you navigate the complexities of these benefits, ensuring you receive the support you deserve during your recovery.
Can I Sue My Employer if I Am Injured on the Job?
In most cases, employees injured on the job are covered by workers’ compensation insurance. Workers’ comp is a no-fault system, meaning you’re typically barred from suing your employer directly for workplace injuries, regardless of who was at fault. This is known as the principle of employer immunity.
Exceptions to Employer Immunity
There are situations where you may have the right to pursue legal action against your employer outside of the workers’ compensation system. These exceptions might include instances of intentional harm by the employer, situations involving gross negligence, or if your employer doesn’t carry workers’ compensation insurance as mandated by law.
While workers’ comp limits your ability to sue your employer, you might have grounds for a third-party lawsuit if a party other than your employer contributed to your injury. For instance, if your injury was caused by a defective product or the negligence of a subcontractor not employed by your company, you could potentially file a lawsuit against those parties.
Seeking Legal Advice
Navigating workplace injury claims and potential lawsuits can be challenging. Consulting with experienced workers’ compensation attorneys, such as those at Katz, Leidman, Freund & Herman, can provide crucial insights into your legal options. We can assess the specifics of your case and determine the best course of action to pursue fair compensation for your injuries.
When Do I Need a Lawyer?
Deciding when to seek legal representation after a workplace injury is a crucial consideration. While not every case requires an attorney, certain situations strongly warrant legal counsel. Here’s an in-depth exploration of when hiring a lawyer for a workers’ compensation claim might be necessary:
Complexity of the Case
Severe Injuries or Permanent Disability
If your injury is severe, leads to permanent disability, or requires long-term medical care, consulting an attorney is advisable. These cases often involve substantial medical bills, ongoing treatment, and potential loss of future earnings, necessitating expert legal guidance to ensure you receive adequate compensation.
Disputes Over Benefits
When there are disagreements or disputes with the insurance company over the benefits you’re entitled to, an attorney can help navigate the complexities. They can advocate for your rights and ensure you receive the full extent of compensation owed.
Challenges in the Claims Process
Denied or Delayed Claims
If your workers’ comp claim has been unfairly denied or significantly delayed, legal representation is essential. An attorney can investigate the denial, gather necessary evidence, and appeal the decision on your behalf.
Employer Retaliation or Discrimination
If you face employer retaliation, discrimination, or termination due to filing a workers’ comp claim, an attorney can protect your rights and pursue legal action against any unlawful practices by your employer.
Legal Expertise and Advocacy
Navigating Legal Procedures
Workers’ compensation laws can be intricate and vary by state. A lawyer well-versed in these laws can guide you through the process, ensuring compliance and maximizing your chances of a favorable outcome.
Complex Cases Involving Third Parties
In cases where third parties contributed to your injury, such as defective equipment or negligence by subcontractors, an attorney can pursue third-party claims while handling your workers’ comp case, maximizing your potential compensation.
Many workers’ comp attorneys, including our firm, offer free initial consultations. Utilize this opportunity to discuss the specifics of your case with an attorney. Their insights can help you understand whether legal representation is necessary for your situation. Even in situations where you’re unsure if you need an attorney, consulting one can provide clarity. It ensures you’re fully aware of your rights and options, offering peace of mind during a challenging time.
Does Workers’ Comp Cover Disability?
Workers’ compensation typically covers disabilities resulting from work-related injuries or illnesses. The coverage for disability benefits can vary based on the severity of the disability and its impact on your ability to work. Here’s a comprehensive breakdown:
Types of Disability Covered
Temporary disabilities refer to injuries that hinder your ability to work for a limited period while you recover. During this time, workers’ comp benefits may provide financial support, usually covering a portion of lost wages. The duration of these benefits varies based on the injury and recovery time.
Permanent Partial Disability (PPD)
When an injury causes permanent impairment but allows you to continue working in some capacity, you may be entitled to PPD benefits. These benefits are calculated based on the degree of impairment as determined by medical evaluations and state-specific guidelines.
Permanent Total Disability (PTD)
In severe cases where an injury renders you permanently unable to perform any gainful work, you may qualify for PTD benefits. These benefits aim to replace lost wages for the remainder of your life, considering the extent of the disability.
Workers’ compensation laws vary by state. Each state has its own guidelines regarding disability benefits, eligibility criteria, and compensation limits. Consulting a workers’ comp attorney familiar with your state’s laws is advisable to understand your entitlements.
Contact Katz, Leidman, Freund & Herman Today
At Katz, Leidman, Freund & Herman, we understand the difficulty and stress that come with workers’ compensation cases. Our experienced attorneys can provide detailed insight into your legal options and guide you through the process of seeking fair compensation for your injuries. We are committed to protecting your rights and pursuing justice on your behalf.
Contact us today for a free initial consultation to discuss the specifics of your case.