Being injured on the job can deliver a lot of challenges to your door. Workers compensation (also known as workmans compensation or workers comp) exists to cover medical bills related to the injury and a percentage of your pay as you recover. Unfortunately, not all workers compensation situations are the same, and there are a few benefits you may be leaving on the table or at least delaying without the right information. Before signing anything, consider a few other compensation opportunities inside and outside of workers compensation, and then consult a lawyer.
Why Wouldn't Workers Comp Be Enough?
Every state is different, but some state compensation systems pay only 66 2/3% of your paycheck to you as you recover. Kentucky is a good example of this system, with their details under "Pay" covering what the standard worker is entitled to.
If you're already barely making it through the economy on your full paycheck, having to survive a smaller percentage of your pay can be a disaster. Too many workers--especially at low- and middle-income jobs--are willing to take the compensation without questioning the system, and although some workers can afford to see this as a lightly-paid vacation, know that it isn't required.
Signing an agreement with standard compensation rates makes it harder to negotiate for more pay. The contract can be challenged, but it takes more forms and meetings that are simply a waste of time if you consider how much shorter it would be to appeal beforehand. A compensation lawyer can argue for your financial need, but they can also push for so many other benefits.
Job Retraining And Your Injury Level
Vocational rehabilitation is available for workers who are disabled because of their injury, but proving a disability is no small task. Unless a doctor declares you as disabled near the beginning of your medical stay, proving disability often means getting a second opinion and legal language that argues on your behalf.
You'll often need a lawyer to do the research needed to not only show the severity of your condition, but also to underline how you fall under legal requirements for additional assistance. This usually means researching similar injury cases and drawing comparisons to your situation.
More money is great, but vocational rehabilitation is a chance to get started on an new lifestyle. Since you're already suffering, you might as well enjoy whatever benefits you can, and getting something similar to trade school or a college education is a pretty good deal if you've already been injured.
Getting injured just for the new job training is hardly worth it, but since you're already in the situation, use it to create a new lifestyle--or at least a chance to jump into a new industry--whether you feel like it or not. The future you may appreciate the extra choices.
Speak with a workmans compensation lawyer to discuss your injury situation, the financial issues at stake, and even the smallest details about your injuring incident to possibly qualify for other opportunities such as personal injury or social security claims.