If you recently suffered an injury on the job, then you are probably somewhere in the workers’ compensation claim process. Depending on the nature of your injury, you may require out-patient medical procedures and may not be able to work during your recovery. This is often a frightening, stressful place to find yourself.
It is important to understand that workers’ compensation insurance protects employers as much or more than it may provide for workers’ needs. It is rarely wise to accept the benefits the insurer offers you without reviewing them carefully. In many instances, insurers can and will provide more than their initial offer, if you know the benefits you should expect and how to pursue them.
For many workers, the provision of medical care is the most important benefit in any workers’ compensation claim. The cost of medical treatment in America is high by anyone’s standards, and those who face major medical emergencies without proper insurance may have no other choice but to file bankruptcy.
To minimize their costs, insurers often place restrictions on the care they agree to pay for, and may require you to use doctors and facilities that they approve. Before you settle for care that does not meet your standards from a doctor you do not prefer, consider pushing back on these restrictions and asking for the care that you want from the provider of your choice. With careful planning, you may have more options than you realize.
Likewise, the insurer may place unreasonable limits on how long they continue to pay for your recovery. Don’t simply accept an unrealistic recovery schedule that meets the needs of the insurer. Make sure that you receive all the recovery assistance that you need without spending out-of-pocket.
If you cannot work because of you injury, then workers’ compensation should supplement your income. Typically, workers’ compensation replaces about two-thirds of a victim’s income, but it is important to understand that this does not extend forever. Income replacement is meant for short-term and mid-term recoveries.
If your injury makes it impossible for you to return to your former position, workers’ compensation may cover the expenses of retraining in another skill and other expenses associated with transitioning to a different career.
Your recovery requires your full attention, so be sure to use good legal resources and guidance as you need them. A strong legal strategy keeps your rights safe while you work to overcome this setback and get back on your professional path of choice.