What is Workers’ Compensation and how it works
After a workplace injury the most important thing that you can do as an employee is report the accident to your employer. Fill out an incident report if asked to do so. Once completed, your employer should direct you as to where you can go for your initial medical treatment.
Eventually, your employer will report your injury to their Workers’ Compensation Insurance Carrier who will be responsible for paying 100% of your medical bills. You will have no co-pay and no deductible, the insurance company will pay for 100%. However, the trade off is they get to pick where you go for medical treatment, so you cannot go to whichever doctor you choose and just expect the Workers’ Compensation Insurance Company to pay the bill you have to go to the doctors that they authorize. Josh Cohen can help advise you with this.
What if I can’t work?
If the authorized Workers’ Compensation doctor says you are unable to work you will be entitled to 70% of your average gross wages. “Gross” wages meaning before taxes. The 70% that you do receive from Workers’ compensation is tax free so your “net” take home pay while on Workers’ Compensation should be similar to what you normally “net” after taxes when you get your normal pay check.
The most common scenario will be when the Workers’ Compensation doctor says you can work, but on light or modified duty. When this happens it is your employer’s choice whether or not to provide you with light duty work. If they provide you with light duty work you will have to return to work in that light/modified duty capacity (oftentimes doing less strenuous job duties). If your employer refuses to provide you with light duty work then you will get to stay home and get paid your wage replacement as if you were taken out of work completely. The Cohen Law Firm of Laurel Springs, NJ can help you with this.
Once your medical treatment concludes you will be entitled to a settlement of your Workers’ Compensation Claim. Most often the money for your settlement will come from the Workers’ Compensation Insurance Carrier, not from Your Employer. The value of your claim depends on the extent of your permanent injury and the functional loss of your injured body part.
The Settlement is also important, because that is how your lawyer gets paid. The Cohen Law Firm does not get paid until your case is settled. There is no up front payment required by the client to Josh Cohen or his associates. Only when your case settles The Cohen Law Firm will charge a 20% attorney fee of your settlement.
Back to Work
The money you get from your settlement will help. However, the amount of money you get will not be enough money for you to retire on your own private island. Once your case is over, most of Josh Cohen's clients return to work at the same jobs with the same companies making the same amount of money. This is NOT a lawsuit against your employer and once your case is over you should have no problem returning to work in the same position as when you were injured. If you have any questions about this, please call Josh Cohen's Laurel Springs, NJ office today.