What is Workers’ Compensation?
Workers’ compensation is the system used to provide wage replacement, medical and rehabilitation benefits to men and women who are injured while at work.
What benefits can a worker receive?
The workers’ compensation law provides a strict limit on the benefits that a claimant can receive as the result of a job related injury. A worker can only receive certain specified wage loss benefits, medical benefits, mileage reimbursement benefits and, in some cases, rehabilitation benefits. Recovery under workers’ compensation is limited to these areas, no matter how serious the injury. There is no such thing as “pain and suffering” in workers’ compensation.
How are wage loss benefits calculated?
Wage loss benefits are payable to a claimant once they have sustained a loss of wages for 7 consecutive days or longer. In the ordinary case, an injured worker can expect to receive 80% of the after-tax value of his or her wage loss, which should include the value of any discontinued fringe benefits. It does not matter if the claimant is “totally” or “partially” disabled. (Although total and permanent disability is a special category). Thus, whenever a claimant has had a loss of wages for 7 days or longer, a determination of their “average weekly wage” before their injury is made, and the claimant should be paid wage loss benefits equal to 80% of the after-tax value of that amount. the “average weekly wage” is generally calculated by averaging the highest grossing 39 weeks of the 52 weeks worked prior to the injury.
What medical benefits is an injured worker entitled to receive?
An injured worker is entitled to receive all reasonable and necessary medical care that is related to their injury. This may include but is not limited to, medical, surgical, hospital, dental, physical aids (such as crutches, braces, hearing apparatus, etc.), chiropractic treatment and nursing care. They are also entitled to receive payment of any prescription medications which are ordered in relation to their work injury, as long as those medications are considered reasonable and necessary. The responsibility to provide and pay for medical care continues indefinitely, so long as the need for care is related to the work related injury.
How long do I have to file a workers’ compensation claim?
If benefits have not been paid in relation to a work related injury, an injured worker would have a 2 year statute of limitations to file a workers’ compensation claim, starting from the date of the injury, their last exposure to the conditions which caused the work injury, or from the date that they realized they had a work related injury.
If benefits have been paid in relation to a work related injury, an injured worker would have a 1 year statute of limitation in which to file a workers’ compensation claim, starting from the date of the injury, their last exposure to the conditions which caused the work injury, or from the date that they realized they had a work related injury.
What does it cost to have the Law Office of Mark Viel represent me in my workers’ compensation claim?
We handle workers’ compensation claims on a contingency fee, which means that there is no attorney fee unless we are successful in the claim. If we are successful in your claim, the percentage of fee that we take will depend on how the case was resolved, i.e. through settlement, voluntary payment, etc. We do charge for the expenses that we incur regardless of whether we win or lose a case. By expenses we mean the cost of ordering medical records, taking depositions, etc. We do not charge expenses for our general operating costs. This means that every consultation with the Law Offices of Mark Viel is free.
What information should I have available when I contact the Law Offices of Mark W. Viel?
The following is a list of information which would help us in making a determination about how we might help your with your claim. We suggest that you have as many as possible of the following details available when placing your initial call to us:
- Your name, address and a phone number where we can reach you.
- Details about your injury, including the date of injury and any specific diagnoses you have been given.
- The names, addresses and phone numbers of the doctors that have treated you for your work injury.
- Any restrictions which have been placed on you by your doctors.
- Employer information, including address and phone number.
- Your last day of work, if applicable.
- A list of outstanding (unpaid) medical bills that have resulted from this injury, if any.
- Any payments that you have received as a result of this work injury, if any.