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Understanding Workers' Compensation Benefits - FAQs

At Flaxman Law Group, we are committed to providing guidance on workers' compensation to those who've been injured on the job. Knowing your rights and the benefits you're entitled to is crucial. Should you have further questions beyond this FAQ or require a free consultation, don't hesitate to reach out to us at 954-987-0099.

What Exactly is Workers' Compensation?

Workers' compensation is an insurance program, required by state law, that provides compensation to employees who have sustained work-related injuries or illnesses. While there is a federal workers’ comp program for certain employees, each state enforces its own set of workers’ compensation rules. For information specific to your state, you should consult your state’s workers’ compensation office or contact the Flaxman Law Group for assistance.

An employee with a job-related illness or injury typically receives workers' compensation benefits irrespective of fault. By accepting workers' comp, employees generally forfeit the right to directly sue their employer for damages from those injuries.

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Who is Responsible for Funding Workers' Compensation Benefits?

Workers' compensation benefits are usually funded by employers through a workers' compensation insurance carrier. An exception exists for some small businesses and organizations that may opt to self-insure if state laws permit. The responsible party—whether an insurance company or a self-insured employer—covers medical and disability benefits according to state guidelines.

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Do Workers' Compensation Laws Cover All Workplace Injuries?

While workers' compensation covers a wide range of injuries occurring on the job, certain exceptions apply. Cases where the employee's injuries are due to intoxication, drug use, intentional acts, criminal activities, off-the-job occurrences, or violations of company policy may be exempt from coverage.

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Does Workers' Compensation Encompass Both Injuries and Long-Term Health Issues?

Workers' compensation isn't limited to accidental injuries—it also covers ailments and diseases that evolve over time due to workplace conditions, including repetitive stress injuries and certain chronic illnesses.

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Who Qualifies for Workers' Compensation Coverage?

Most employees are covered by workers' compensation, but there are exceptions, such as business owners, independent contractors, and certain types of casual and domestic workers, among others. Federal employees fall under different legislation for workers' compensation. Laws vary by state, so for specific information, check your state's workers' compensation statute or consult us at Flaxman Law Group.

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Must I Be Injured on the Workplace Premises To Receive Workers' Compensation?

No, workers' compensation extends beyond the physical workplace. If your injury is job-related—occurring during business-related travel, errands, or events—it should be covered.

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What Types of Benefits Can I Expect from Workers' Compensation?

Workers' compensation typically provides wage replacement, covers medical costs, and may offer vocational rehabilitation. Benefits are generally modest, with salary replacement typically around two-thirds of your average wage, tax-free. In cases of permanent inability to work, long-term or lump-sum benefits may be available.

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What About Social Security Benefits for Permanent Disability?

If you're permanently unable to work, you might qualify for Social Security Disability benefits. These benefits can provide long-term support, but eligibility requires that your condition prevents you from all substantial work and is expected to last at least a year or result in death.

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Can I Choose My Own Doctor for Treatment, and Can I Trust a Company-Provided Doctor?

State rules vary, but typically, you may initially be referred to a doctor chosen and paid for by your employer's insurance. The treatment and assessment provided by this doctor will influence the benefits you receive. It’s crucial to be cautious in your communication with a company's doctor as their assessment may affect your claim.

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If an Insurance Company's Doctor Initially Treats Me, Can I Later See My Own Doctor?

You often have the right to see your own doctor or get a second opinion at the insurance company’s expense, though each state has its own regulations and timelines.

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Is It Ever Possible To Sue My Employer in Court for a Work-Related Injury?

Yes, but only if your employer’s actions were reckless or intentional. Workers’ compensation typically precludes you from suing your employer, but exceptions exist for egregious misconduct.

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What Should I Do if My Employer Discourages Me From Filing a Workers' Compensation Claim or Threatens Retaliation?

Such actions are typically illegal under workers' compensation laws. Report any instances of employer retaliation to your local workers' compensation office immediately.

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Where Can I Find Additional Resources?

For a deeper understanding of workers’ compensation benefits, consult your state's workers' compensation office. Furthermore, if you require personalized advice or wish to arrange a free consultation, contact Flaxman Law Group at 954-987-0099. Our team is here to support and guide you through the complexities of workers' compensation.

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