Workers’ compensation was established to provide financial assistance to individuals who are injured on the job. The process for obtaining this compensation can be arduous and challenging, and you must meet certain very specific criteria. For this reason, you may find it in your best interests to work with a Rochester workers’ compensation attorney.
Applying for Workers’ Comp
It is important to file and application as soon as possible after you are injured. Make sure that you first report the incident to your employer. In many cases employers have a doctor that they require claimants to see; otherwise, you may use your own doctor. If this doctor determines that you are injured enough that you cannot work, temporary disability will be granted. You can expect to make two-thirds of your gross income. There is a maximum benefit, however, so a high salaried individual may not receive this large an amount. Assuming your application is approved, it will likely take a week or two for you to receive your first check.
If Your Application Is Not Approved
In some cases an application is denied. One of your options at this point is to file an appeal. It would be a good idea to have a Rochester workers’ compensation lawyer in your corner for this appeal, which will amount to an administrative hearing before a judge. There is no jury; therefore, the judge will make the final determination as to whether you are approved.
You can also file for Social Security disability benefits if you are denied. This will require a separate application. Keep in mind that you cannot collect both workers’ compensation and SSD.
If Your Condition Is Permanent
While successful claimants are initially given temporary benefits, some may later be granted permanent disability status. The insurance company and/or your employer will likely require that you see a doctor of their choosing before you are deemed permanently disabled. Your attorney may also choose a doctor to examine you. If both the insurance company and your attorney agree on a particular doctor, you may believe that this will work to your advantage, but such is not always the case. The risk involved is that this doctor may render an opinion that is not in your best interests. If this occurs, you will basically be locked into this decision.
If your injuries are not permanent, eventually you will be deemed suitable for work again.
For Legal Assistance with Your Claim
At Weinrich Law Office, we understand your frustration — you were hurt at work, so your employer should pay for your treatment. Sometimes all the Employer sees is its bottom line, forgetting that you have been a good and loyal employee. Even if your employer is sympathetic and willing to take responsibility, they are at the whim of their insurer that may want to limit costs and/or delay payment as long as possible. We will investigate your claim as soon as we are hired, collect medical records, interview witnesses and work with your doctors to get the information we need to prove your case. No matter how hard life or the system tries to push back at you, we will push harder to protect your rights, that your medical bills are paid, and you receive any wage loss you are entitled to.
If you were injured on the job and cannot work, contact a Rochester workers’ compensation attorney who will fight for you. Call Weinrich Law Office to arrange an initial meeting at (507) 288-5982 or email us.