Types of Workers’ Compensation Benefits Available In Jersey City
Medical and income benefits are the two main types you could apply for through your workers’ compensation policy. Each covers costs and losses associated with the accident. It is critical that you review the policy your employer purchased to ensure you’re eligible for benefits, and the coverage you receive will adequately cover your medical treatment and other expenses.
Income benefits can replace a percentage of the wages you’re unable to earn due to your injury. They fall under different categories, depending on how long you’re out of work and how serious your injury is.
Temporary Total Disability – If your disability lasts longer than seven days, you will receive benefit payments at 70% of your average weekly wages before the accident occurred. As long as you can’t return to work and are actively seeking necessary medical treatment, you can continue to collect these benefits.
If your doctor releases you from their care or determines you have reached maximum medical improvement (MMI), your payments would cease. MMI means that your recovery plateaued, and further treatment won’t improve your condition.
Permanent Partial Disability – you might qualify for temporary partial disability benefits if you can still perform some type of job but at a limited functional capacity. Your payments will depend on your scheduled or non-scheduled loss. A scheduled loss involves impairment to a specific body part. A non-scheduled loss involves a body part or system that isn’t included in the schedule. Your duration of benefits will depend on the percentage of loss of use of the body part or system you injured in the construction accident.
Permanent Total Disability – If you can’t perform any type of job, you might qualify for permanent total disability payments. These benefits are at 70% of your average weekly wages before you suffered a disabling condition. You’re able to collect benefits for up to 450 weeks. If your disability continues to prevent you from earning income past the 450-week mark, you could continue to receive payments as long as you’re able to show your inability to work.
A permanent total disability typically involves the loss of two members or a combination, such as:
If your disability results from your job-related injury and a pre-existing disability, you could qualify for the Second Injury Fund (SIF). You would receive payments once you reach the maximum duration of benefits through the workers’ compensation insurance company. Coverage will end when you die or can begin working again.
Medical benefits provide payment for reasonable and necessary treatment, hospital visits, medical services, and other associated expenses. While you’re collecting medical benefits, you won’t receive any bills. Instead, the workers’ compensation insurance company will send payments directly to the medical provider.
Your employer could determine which doctors you’re allowed to see. If you choose to see someone they don’t approve of, you could end up paying for that treatment out of pocket. Benefits will only cover medical professionals your employer allows for your specific injury or illness.
Death benefits provide the family of a deceased worker with weekly payments at 70% of the average weekly wages earned before death. After a hearing, a judge will determine how to divide the benefits between each surviving dependent.
A surviving spouse and children who shared a household with the deceased construction worker on the date they died would qualify as dependents. However, if you are a surviving spouse or child and did not live with them at the time of their death, you would have to prove you were dependent on them for support.
Funeral benefits are also available up to a limit of $3,500 payable to the person or estate responsible for paying the expense.
Steps to Take Following a Construction Accident
If you get hurt on the job, you should take immediate action to ensure you’re able to receive benefit payments. If you wait too long to report the injury or fail to complete the required forms, you could lose your right to coverage through your employer’s workers’ compensation insurance.
Step 1 – Notify your employer of the accident promptly. You don’t have to do it in writing, but it would be best if you did so that there’s evidence of the notification. The employer should then notify their insurer to begin the claims process. The insurer’s representative will contact you to discuss the construction accident and inform you of the medical providers you’re allowed to see. You should also fill out Form IA-1 completely and accurately for the insurance company.
Step 2 – Begin medical treatment. Do not wait too long before starting treatment for your injuries. Gaps in treatment can negatively impact the outcome of your claim. If there’s a significant period before your first appointment or between appointments, the insurance company could use that as a valid reason to deny the claim. It could be evidence that your injury isn’t real or doesn’t require medical care.
Step 3 – Follow your doctor’s orders whether they refer you for physical therapy, surgery, or treatment with specialty physicians. You should continue treatment until you reach maximum medical improvement, or they release you from their care.
Step 4 – Maintain copies of all documents associated with the case. Medical records are crucial in proving you sustained a work-related injury and require treatment to recover.
Step 5 – Hire a Jersey City construction accident lawyer to assist you with your claim.
Call Brach Eichler Injury Lawyers Today
At Brach Eichler Injury Lawyers, we understand the importance of recovering from your work-related injury. You should receive the benefits you need to supplement your lost income and pay for necessary medical treatment. We will advocate for your rights and ensure the insurance company does not unfairly deny your claim.
Our Jersey City construction accident lawyers are available 24/7 to discuss your construction accident case and provide you with the legal representation you deserve. Call us today at (201) 583-5765 for a free consultation.