What are Three Types of Workers’ Compensation Claims and the Differences Among Them?
That’s a very long question and one we normally don’t see on Google. However, lots of people ask it, so we’ll address it in this post. All three types of workers’ compensation claims are part of the Grand Bargain of the early 1900s. Back then, most workplaces were very dangerous and job injuries were common. Employers often tied up these claims in court for several years. So, in exchange for a no-fault system that provided limited compensation, workers surrendered their civil rights.
For many years, the Grand Bargain was a good deal for workers. Today, the workers’ compensation system isn’t much faster than the courts. So, many injured workers settle their claims for pennies on the dollar, just to get it over with. Whatever type of claim you file, unless you’re willing to settle for less, a Tampa workers’ compensation lawyer is a critical partner.
Medical Care Only
Victims who sustain moderate work-related injuries, which are entitled work-related, may opt to file a medical care only claim. As the name implies, these workers’ compensation claims don’t replace lost wages. They only pay reasonably necessary medical expenses.
Assume Mike twists his ankle at work. When his shit ends, he goes to a 24-hour care clinic. The doctor tells Mike he doesn’t need to miss work, but he might need pain pills to get through the day, and he needs to rest his ankle at night. Mike also bought a cool-looking vintage cane he found on Etsy. Two weeks later, Mike returns for a follow-up, and the doctor fully releases him.
Those two visits, one prescription, and one medical device might cost about a thousand dollars. If Mike files a medical care only claim, the insurance company will almost certainly pay for the two visits and one prescription.
However, the insurance company might give him a hard time about the cane. Furthermore, if Mike simply couldn’t take the pain and left early a day or two, he loses that money.
The stakes get considerably higher in temporary disability cases. These victims almost always need a Tampa workers’ compensation lawyer.
Assume Mike breaks his ankle in two places at work. In the hospital, doctors surgically implant metal pins to reconstruct the bone. Then, they must surgically extract these pins at a later date. Mike also needs extensive physical therapy to regain lost function.
This process could take several months, during which Mike cannot work at his regular job. Therefore, Mike should probably file a temporary disability claim and receive compensation not only for his reasonable medical bills, but also for two-thirds of his lost wages.
If Mike can work a light-duty assignment as he recovers, workers’ compensation pays two-thirds of the difference between his new and old weekly income.
Most injured workers file these claims if they suffer a catastrophic (life threatening) injury or a pre-existing condition contributed to the injury.
If Michael broke his ankle in four places, he’ll probably never walk unassisted again. If that disability prevents him from working, or at least from working full-time, Mike deserves compensation not only for prior lost wages, but also for future lost wages.
The claim is even more complex if Mike broke his ankle previously, and that old injury contributed to his new injury. His Tampa workers’ compensation lawyer must prove that the new, work-related accident substantially caused his injury.
Rely on a Diligent Hillsborough County Attorney
Injury victims are entitled to important financial benefits. For a free consultation with an experienced workers’ compensation lawyer in Tampa, contact Kobal Law. We do not charge upfront legal fees in these matters.