Accidents do happen at the work place, sometimes even after following all safety regulations stipulated by the company. The injured worker is rushed to the hospital for treatment and recovery. What happens if it is a back injury that renders the worker partially or permanently disabled? This situation may create financial difficulties for the worker, as he loses his wages as well as has to pay for medical expenses.
Availing Compensation for Back Injuries
Before the workers compensation law came into existence, employees used to depend on personal health medical insurance to resolve such a situation. In some cases, these insurances were provided for by the employers. However, these were not all that useful as they didn't cover all aspects, especially back injuries, and most often left the injured worker in difficulty. Nowadays, employers equip themselves with workers insurance to safeguard their and their employees interests.
The following is a list of few facts which may help you in getting compensation for work related injury.
- Get your back injury, even if it is a minor back pain or strain, treated by the doctor. While claiming, the document created by the medical professional will prove to be useful.
- Next, the accident and injury must immediately be reported to a supervisor or superiors. Failure in reporting the injury to the proper authorities can result in a refusal of benefits.
- The settlement laws stipulate the necessity of getting an independent medical evaluation of the back injury. Failure to do so can get the claim denied or dismissed.
- If there are difficulties in resolving your workers compensation claim or if you think it is not enough of a compensation then taking legal advice is necessary.
- Finding an efficient attorney is also necessary, if you cannot put forth your case because of the injury or due to some other reasons. Ask around and find an accident lawyer who is a specialist in the field of work place accidents and injuries.
- Meanwhile, follow the physician's advice and treatment prescribed by him. If he has advised you to undergo physical therapy or has placed limits on the activities that you can do, then follow it.
Types of Benefits
Most workers suffering work related back injuries need immediate compensation. These can be obtained as temporary and/or permanent benefits.
- Temporary Benefits: Right after the incident, the injured worker needs money for payments of medical expenditures and lost wages. As the process for availing workers compensation is initiated, an agreement awarding at least some coverage for medical bills related with the injury and compensation for his or her lost wages (in part or full) is reached.
- Permanent Benefits: Many of the times, work-related back injuries disables the victim permanently, affecting his ability to discharge certain work-related tasks. While arriving at a settlement, a number of factors need to be considered. To simplify the process, the back injury is rated and is given a numerical value. Its severity and how incapacitating it will be during the lifetime of the worker, are both considered while calculating this value. In addition, estimated future medical expenses and the lost wages, if they are continued to be borne by the worker, are also considered as a component of the final compensation amount.
Are Workers Compensation Settlements Taxable?
The part of the compensation that covers lost wages for the past, present, and future is taxable. It is considered by the federal and the state governments as the wealth generated by the worker and is appropriately taxed. Rest of the components of the settlement such as medical expenses, etc., are not taxed.
Workers compensation laws are different in different states, and a worker looking for compensation should be aware of this fact. For this reason, even if it is possible for a worker to represent his case, the best option is to engage an attorney.