Debunking common Workers’ Compensation misconceptions:
1. I can be compensated for pain and suffering for a work injury.
Workers’ compensation does not allow for any award for pain and suffering. However, you can be compensated for a permanent partial impairment to many body parts and you may be compensated for any disfiguring scars or the loss of teeth.
2. My employer will have to authorize any treatment that my doctor requests.
Care for injured workers is now governed by Medical Treatment Guidelines that have been promulgated by the State. The process for requesting treatment and appealing any denials of treatment is complex and time sensitive. An attorney can help you through this process.
3. My employer has to hold a job for me after I have been injured.
Your employer is not required to hold your job or to let you return to work with them after your accident by the workers’ compensation laws. Your employer may be required to do so by other laws, such as FMLA, for a period of time. Your employer is prohibited from terminating your employment because you had a work accident.
4. My employer will have to retrain me to do another job if I am unable to return to my prior job after a work accident.
Your employer may identify other jobs that you may be physically capable of performing after your accident, but your employer is not obligated to retrain you to get another job.
5. If I’m hurt at work, my employer will have to pay me workers’ compensation for the rest of my life.
Most injured workers are limited to 520 weeks (ten years) of workers’ compensation benefits for lost wages. It is possible that for a very serious injury you can receive benefits for longer than 520 weeks in some circumstances.