State Workers Compensation Laws
Whether you work in manufacturing, construction, retail, education, or another industry, one fact remains: Workplace injuries can happen to anyone. It could be a slip-and-fall, a muscle strain, a loss of hearing, or even a repetitive-use injury following years of difficult labor. Workers’ compensation laws are designed to protect workers like you who suffer an injury or illness on the job. Although the purpose of these laws is consistent, the specifics vary from one state to the next. Here’s what you need to know:
What Is Workers’ Compensation?
Workers’ compensation insurance is designed to protect employees who have suffered a work-related injury or illness, generally by providing them a portion of their lost wages and other benefits. In most states, such as New York, the majority of employers are required to have workers’ compensation insurance. However, there are exceptions. In Texas, for example, the rules are less stringent: Workers’ compensation insurance is not generally mandated in the Lone Star State.
What Are Disability Benefits?
Employees who have been injured or become sick on the job may be eligible to recover disability benefits under certain circumstances. These may include:
- Temporary Total Disability: In many states, such as Alabama, employees who are unable to work for a period of time may receive a portion of their weekly wage (typically two-thirds) up to a maximum amount set by the state.
- Temporary Partial Disability: If you’re able to work but for less than your normal wage, you may be able to collect temporary partial disability. Some states, such as Georgia, offer two-thirds of the difference between your pre- and post-injury wages.
- Permanent Total Disability: If your doctor determines that you are permanently disabled, you may be able to receive weekly payments for the rest of your life as is the case in Tennessee. These benefits are typically at a rate similar to temporary total disability benefits.
- Permanent Partial Disability: In some states, such as Alabama, employees who lose certain body parts, including eyes, arms, and legs, can receive permanent partial disability benefits, typically at two-thirds of their average weekly wage.
What Additional Benefits Are Available?
States will generally cover all reasonable and necessary medical treatment for a work-related condition. Many states, such as Pennsylvania, will offer mileage reimbursements for travel to and from medical appointments. You might also be eligible for vocational rehabilitation, as well as death benefits if a loved one has died.
What if My Benefits Are Denied?
One commonality across all states is that employers and their insurance companies are often willing to do just about anything in their power to reduce costs, including denying benefits to injured and sick workers. You need a work injury lawyer on your side who understands the laws in your state and how to achieve the best possible outcome. Morgan & Morgan attorneys can:
- Sift through medical evidence in support of your claim
- Communicate with the insurance company
- Negotiate a favorable settlement
- Appeal a claim that’s been denied
Contact Morgan & Morgan
No matter what state you call home, it’s imperative that you understand your rights and how workers’ compensation laws apply to you. At Morgan & Morgan, our work injury attorneys can guide you through each step of the process and help you recover the benefits you are owed. Find out more by scheduling a free case evaluation now.