Workers’ compensation is a system which provides benefits to injured workers or those who contract an occupational disease while working. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (2009), the median number of days away from work for nonfatal occupational injury and illness was eight days.
Occupations that have seen an increased rate in workers’ compensation claims include light or delivery service truck drivers, landscapers and groundskeepers, restaurant cooks and registered nurses.
Young Conaway attorneys regularly appear before the Industrial Accident Board (IAB), which handles workers’ comp claims in Delaware, on behalf of injured workers. We have won numerous million-dollar resolutions for our clients in settlement, mediation, arbitration and trial.
Here is an overview of your rights under workers’ compensation law.
In the State of Delaware, workers’ compensation will pay for your lost wages while you are out of work (up to 66 percent tax free, subject to a maximum). Your medical bills, prescription medications, doctor visits, x-rays, physical therapy, chiropractic, etc. and the mileage for medical-related travel can also be reimbursed.
When you return to work after your injuries, if you were forced to return to a lower-paying job, you can recover Loss of Earning Capacity (LOEC) benefits. Disfigurement and permanent impairment benefits for loss of function (partial or total) of an injured body part can also be covered under Delaware’s workers’ compensation laws.
If You Are Injured at Work
You should immediately tell your supervisor and personnel office about the injury and ask that a report be filed with the state. Be specific as to what happened. Do not wait.
See your doctor or go to the emergency room as soon as possible. Make sure you tell the doctor, nurses and anyone else who takes care of you that you were injured at work. Provide details as to what caused your injury and make sure you identify ALL body parts injured in the work accident, not just the one that hurts the most. Remember, you are entitled to see your own doctor rather than one selected by your employer.
If you have a note to be off work, provide a copy to your employer and give your attorney the original.
Protect Your Rights
Even if you begin to receive some benefits from the workers’ compensation insurance company, you should consult an attorney who specializes in workers’ compensation so that he or she can ensure you receive the maximum benefits available. Contact us for a FREE consultation.