Compensation for Injuries on the Job

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Jeffrey Johnson is a legal writer with a focus on personal injury. He has worked on personal injury and sovereign immunity litigation in addition to experience in family, estate, and criminal law. He earned a J.D. from the University of Baltimore and has worked in legal offices and non-profits in Maryland, Texas, and North Carolina. He has also earned an MFA in screenwriting from Chapman Univer...

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UPDATED: Jul 15, 2021

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If you have suffered a back injury while on the job, you may be able to recover money beyond your worker’s compensation.  Depending on the cause and circumstances of the accident, you can collect worker’s comp from your employer and additional damages from other responsible parties.  Legal action arising from a job-related injury can be complicated, so speak with an experienced labor or employment attorney in your area for a detailed analysis of your case.

Third Party Injury Claims

If you are injured in the course and scope of employment as a result of a negligent third party (not your employer), then you have the right to pursue a “third party claim” against the responsible party. An example of a third party claim could be claim against a manufacturer who made a faulty piece of equipment that caused a work-related injury when it malfunctioned or did not work properly. For instance, if a defective ladder collapses when being used at work and it causes a back injury, you will probably have a claim against the manufacturer of the ladder in addition to a workers’ compensation claim.

You should contact an attorney in your state after you suffer any back injury at work, so that you can make sure your claim is pursued against all responsible parties.

Workers Compensation Benefits

Worker’s compensation benefits will cover a variety of expenses while you are unable to work including:

  • Medical care and treatment – including the cost of medicine, doctor visits, surgeries, and any other costs associated with the treatment or care of your injury
  • Physical rehabilitation – costs associated with therapy or rehab are covered by worker’s compensation
  • Temporary disability – most worker’s comp claims are in regards to temporary partial or total disability that prevents you from working at all, or from performing your normal functions.  If you are unable to work because of a job-related injury, workers’ compensation law in most states gives you the right to be paid until your injuries allow you to return to work.
  • Permanent disability – a disability that permanently prevents you from returning to the kind of work you had done in the past, or forces you to take a lower-paying job, may entitle you to weekly compensation paid by your employer’s insurance equal to a percentage of the difference between your present pay and the pay you would have been able to earn in your former occupation.  If you are never able to return to work, you may be entitled to ongoing disability payments at a percentage of your previous salary.
  • Death – close family members who depend on the deceased can collect benefits to cover immediate funeral expenses and ongoing needs.  Ongoing benefits are calculated at a percentage of the salary.  Some states limit the amount relatives can collect.

Workers’ compensation laws and benefits are different in every state. It is best to contact an attorney in your state to discuss the compensation that you are entitled to.

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