What Can I Do if I am Injured at Work?
If you have been injured at work in Utah, you are entitled to worker's compensation benefits. That is the law. To begin receiving worker's compensation benefits, the first step is to report the injury to your employer. Your employer should give you an "Employer's First Report of Injury Form" to fill out. That will initiate the worker's compensation process.
Once your work injury claim has been reported, the worker's compensation insurance company will open a claim for you. They will send you to a doctor of their choosing for evaluation. The doctor will then seek approval from the worker's compensation insurance company for you to obtain reasonable and necessary treatment for your work injuries.
If your work injuries are severe enough that you have to miss work for more than three days, your employer and/or the worker's compensation insurance company will pay for your time off work. Many people are disappointed to learn that worker's compensation only pays 66.67% of your average weekly wage up to a predetermined cap, but that is all the law requires worker's compensation insurance to pay.
Can I Sue My Employer if I Get Hurt at Work?
If you were injured at work, you are not allowed to sue your employer. Injured workers must go through worker's compensation. This is sometimes referred to as the "exclusive remedy." Under Utah law, employers who have worker's compensation insurance are immune from suit.
Sometimes, however, your work injury may have been caused by someone other than your employer. Your injury may have been caused by the negligence of a different contractor on a job-site or a defective piece of equipment. Oftentimes, we see work injuries caused by car accidents where a third-party was at fault. In those cases, you may have a lawsuit against a third-party, but your employer will be immune from a lawsuit arising out of your work injury.
Can a Utah Worker's Compensation Lawyer Help Me?
Yes. A worker's compensation lawyer can help you. Worker's compensation insurance companies are notorious for making claims difficult. The biggest complaint we get from injured workers is that they have no idea why the worker's compensation insurance company denied their claim.
The reality is that worker's compensation insurance companies are quick to deny claims. And all too often, they were wrong for denying the claim. We take those cases, and we routinely win them. Regardless of the reason the insurance company gave you for denying your claim, you should call us to find out if there is something we can do. We charge nothing for a worker's compensation consultation so there is absolutely no risk.
What Worker's Compensation Benefits Are Available Under Utah Law?
In Utah, employers are required to provide injured workers with worker's compensation benefits. These include benefits for reasonable and necessary medical expenses, lost wages, and survivor benefits in the case of a death.
Medical Expenses for Work Injuries
Medical Expenses. If you are injured at work, your employer is required to pay your reasonable and necessary medical expenses. By law, that includes payment of medical expenses, nursing services, hospital visits and medicines. You will not be required to pay any co-pays or deductibles. Your employer, or insurance company, has the right to direct your medical care. That means they can select the doctors and facilities for your treatment. You have the right to request a change of doctor. If you choose to make such a request, use Labor Commission Form 102.
Temporary Total Disability. During the time that you are unable to work because of your injuries, your employer is required to pay you 66.67% of your average weekly wage up to a maximum amount that is adjusted at least one time per year.
Temporary Partial Disability. If you are able to work, but your injury makes it so you earn less than you otherwise would have, you may be eligible for temporary partial disability payments.
Permanent Partial Disability. Once your injuries have reached medical stability, you may still have some residual limitations. If so, you may be entitled to payment of permanent partial disability benefits. These are sometime referred to as an impairment rating. An impairment rating will be assigned to you by a physician. It is not a disability rating, but is a rating used to calculate the amount of money to which you are entitled because of your permanent injury.
Permanant Total Disability. If your injuries made it so you will never be able to return to work, you may be entitled to permanent total disability benefits. These benefits can potentially be paid to you for the rest of your life. Worker's compensation insurance companies fight hard against providing permanent total disability benefits, so it will be good for you to hire a lawyer. In addition, these benefits raise issues involving Social Security disability and Medicare that will need to be addressed.
Death Benefits. If you lost a loved one due to a work injury, worker's compensation insurance will cover funeral expenses and may pay survivor's benefits to the worker's spouse and children under the age of 18.
The Benefits of Hiring a Worker's Compensation Attorney
If you have been injured on the job or suffered a work-related illness, you can count on the experienced worker's compensation lawyers at the Schriever Law Firm to help you win the benefits you deserve.
When you suffer an injury or illness on the job, claiming workers’ compensation benefits is often the only way to make sure you have the money you need to cover your medical expenses and pay your bills. Although Utah has a “no-fault” workers’ compensation system, many employers and insurance companies still make it extraordinarily difficult for injured workers to receive the benefits they deserve. To make sure you have the best chance to collect maximum benefits for your injury or illness, you need an experienced workers’ compensation and personal injury attorney on your side.
When you contact the Schriever Law Firm about your workers’ compensation claim, the first thing we will do is schedule a free, confidential initial consultation. In order to help you secure maximum compensation, we need to know what happened, how badly you are injured, and what you have done so far regarding your claim. With workers’ compensation, there are processes and procedures that need to be closely followed, and we want to make sure you do not do anything that could jeopardize your claim to compensation.
Once we take your worker's compensation case, we will work quickly and aggressively to win the benefits you deserve. This may include negotiating a settlement with your employer’s insurance company, or it may mean taking your claim to court. Whatever it takes, we will not stop until we have achieved the best outcome for your case.