Every workplace has its own rules and regulations regarding safety. And they are there for a reason to help ensure no one gets injured. But sometimes mistakes are made, and somebody gets hurt — whether mildly or severely.
Based on the severity of the injury, workers’ compensation claims can be classified into three categories — medical, disability, and debt. And while this is a broad classification, they can be further broken into subcategories. In this article, we’ll explain the classification of workers comp cases.
Each state sets its own rules and regulations regarding workers comp lawsuits. However, these are the common types of workers’ compensation claims.
This is the most straightforward workers’ compensation claim to file and the easiest to process. Mild injuries that workers sustain can be treated in a short time and usually fall under this claim. With a medical-only claim, most injured workers can return to work the next or same day, depending on the injury and type of service provided.
Suppose a mechanic at a repair shop sprains their wrist while fixing a car and cannot work. They will likely have to visit a doctor and return to work after the treatment. They can claim compensation for the cost of the doctor’s appointment and any medications or treatments required.
With this claim, an injured worker is affected for a significant time and cannot carry out their duties. Their employer can assign a light-work task, or they can take time off to recover. The cost of any medical treatments lost wages will be compensated under the workers’ compensation claim.
If a worker injures themselves to the point where they cannot work for a long time, then it falls under a temporary total disability claim. The diagnosis in these claims indicates a full recovery, but during the recovery timeline, they cannot work. The cost of treatments, rehabilitation, and seeing specialists are covered under the claim, besides lost wages.
Under the permanent partial disability claim, workers who sustain an injury that keeps them from performing their regular job duties for life are covered. These types of workers are not usually retained by their employers. And if they are, they are given a job more suited to their reduced abilities. However, they continue to get workers’ compensation benefits even after being unemployed because of the loss in their ability to earn.
In the case of permanent total disability, the worker loses their ability to earn because they’ve sustained an injury that won’t let them undertake their usual duties, and it is determined that they will never recover. These workers are compensated for all their medical expenses at the time of injury, including lost wages, money spent on the attorney during the settlement, and loss-of-earning-ability-benefit for the period determined in the settlement.
If a worker succumbs to death because of their injuries, close relatives like their children and spouse are compensated because they are financially dependent on the deceased. Most states have a procedure to calculate the amount given as a death benefit to the deceased workers’ dependents based on their wages. In most cases, it has a maximum and minimum value, but some states may provide a lump sum to the dependents.
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