As most people know, generally, if you are injured at work and cannot do the job you were performing at the time of your work injury you are entitled to indemnity or wage loss and medical benefits. Indemnity or wage loss benefits is usually in the form of weekly or biweekly checks which are a percentage of what your Average Weekly Wage was at the time of your injury. Average Weekly Wage is a legal term based on a calculation under the Workers’ Compensation Act.
Medical benefits are those medical bills and prescriptions that are for treatment that is determined to be reasonable and necessary and related to your work injury. What is reasonable, necessary, and related to your work injury are legal principles applied to each specific case. Suffice it say if your doctor or health care provider provides treatment for your work injury it should be paid for by the Workers’ Compensation Insurance carrier unless it does not meet one of those requirements. What is reasonable and necessary and/or related to ones injury is looked at on a case by case basis. What may be reasonable and necessary treatment for your back injury may not be for the next person. What treatment your receiving for your arm and how it is related to your neck injury may not be for the same for the next person.
Specific loss benefits are such payments for loss of a finger, hand, arm, foot, leg etc…-such as an amputation. However they can also be payments, even if you still have the finger hand arm foot, leg etc… but your loss is considered to be a loss of use for all practical intents and purposes. In other words you still have the body part but it is essentially useless. Again that is a legal definition that is applied to each specific case. Interestingly under the Workers’ Compensation Act specific loss benefits in these situations are enumerated in number of weeks. Depending on the body part amputated or lost for all practical intents and purposes would dictate how many weeks of benefits (weeks of checks) one is entitled.
Scars, or disfigurement on the head, face or neck, if due to a work injury, also fall under the Specific Loss provisions of the Act. However, the amount of weeks is not enumerated and awards for disfigurement can be very subjective (differing results) from judge to judge.
Other benefits include such things as death benefits for surviving spouse, children and/or dependents as well as a funeral bill allowance. If you have questions about these or other benefits, or you have been injured on the job, call Dugan & Associates today for a free consultation at 888-99-DUGAN.