Does Your Employer’s Worker Comp Policy Pay for All Lost Wages?

Should you be injured while working, your short-term livelihood may depend on how well you know your workers' compensation insurance policy.

When you are injured while performing duties for your job, your employer is required to provide you with workers’ compensation insurance coverage. One of the benefits under this coverage is payment for lost wages when you cannot work due to your injury.

There are important things you need to know about what the workers’ compensation company will pay for lost wages. This article will cover the basics.

About Workers’ Compensation

Worker’s compensation is designed to cover an injury you incur while you are working. It is a no-fault insurance which means you are eligible for coverage even if you are partially responsible for your injury. There are exceptions, however. For example, if you were under the influence of drugs or alcohol when the injury occurred, the insurance company may be able to deny your claim.

What Does Workers’ Compensation Cover?

Workers’ compensation covers expenses the employee incurs due to a work injury. The rules related to workers’ compensation are different in each state, but there are some universal requirements. Workers’ compensation covers medical expenses, lost wages, and other costs associated with the injury.

Your insurance company may require you to visit a specific doctor while others may allow you to choose your own doctor. In some cases, you can see your own doctor but you will be required to see the company’s physician as well.

Calculating Wages

Most workers’ compensation companies pay an injured worker 66% of their normal weekly wages. The calculation is based on what you earned the previous 52 weeks, although each state has its own formula that determines how much you will receive from workers’ compensation. Make sure the insurance company calculates using your pay before taxes and not your pay after taxes are deducted.

Most workers’ compensation companies pay an injured worker 66% of their normal weekly wages.

Workers’ comp insurers are also required to include overtime, bonuses, and other compensation. In most cases, your workers’ compensation benefits are not subject to federal taxes.

What to Do If You are Injured on the Job

If you are injured on the job, the first thing you need to do is inform your employer. Most companies have work injury reporting procedures that you need to follow in order to get compensated. You will also want to seek medical attention as quickly as possible after the injury in order to document how severe your injury is and what treatments you will need to undergo.

Follow all your doctor’s orders even if you begin to feel better. Keep in mind that worker’s compensation insurance companies may hire investigators to watch claimants to be sure they are actually injured.

Should I Hire an Attorney?

A fair worker’s compensation should be enough to pay for medical care and cover lost wages. Because insurance companies often make errors in the calculation of wage repayment, it is advisable that you hire a worker’s compensation attorney.

Hiring an attorney does not mean you plan to sue your employer. In fact, in most states, you cannot sue your employer for a workplace injury. Instead, an attorney will review your case, make sure you get the compensation you are entitled to receive under the law and guide you through a process that can be very complicated and stressful.

Here are a few of the things a lawyer will do for you:

  • Review your information
  • Guide you through the process
  • Fight to get you the compensation you are entitled to receive.

Your attorney will deal with the insurance company, your employer, investigators, and even your doctor to confirm that you get the time you need to recover from your injury without worrying about how you will meet your financial obligations.