The rate of workplace accidents went down last year in Pennsylvania, but 166,102 people still suffered injuries at work. These numbers might be even higher in reality because many workers still do not report their injuries or file for workers' compensation because they feel like it won't be worthwhile.
Filing for a workers' compensation claim can seem like a hassle but it could be more worthwhile than you realize. An injury might not seem too expensive at first but the missed work hours and medical bills add up fast. Often injured workers wonder how much a workers' compensation claim can be worth. While there is no exact equation you can add up these factors to get an idea.
- Current and future medical bills
- Missed days at work
- Temporary or permanent disability benefits
- Supplemental job displacement benefits
- Death benefits
Disability benefits will depend upon the level of your injury
Disability benefits are additional payments for lost wages due to an injury that prevents you from doing your job. Temporary benefits are available if you cannot perform your normal job for a specific amount of time due to an injury (for example: standing due to a broken leg). Permanent disability benefits are supplied for workers who have permanently lost a mental or physical ability that a doctor can measure.
These payments come in weekly until you have recovered. An injured worker in 2016 with a temporary disability might earn anywhere from $169 to $1,228 weekly depending upon their previous job. An injured worker with a permanent disability will receive a sum of money typically spread over several payments. Take this example: A worker who earned $435 per week lost sight in one eye due to a workplace accident in 2014. They could receive $34,437 total.
Supplemental job displacement benefits explained
In many cases a worker cannot return to their old job because their employer doesn't have one for them or they can no longer do their old work. When this happens workers can receive supplemental job displacement benefits to cover retraining or job transition. In another example let's say that the same worker above could no longer do their job and was out of work. They could additionally receive $6,000 in supplemental job displacement payments.
It is best to contact an attorney when filing a workers' compensation claim. The process can be confusing and the insurance company will typically try to offer the lowest payments possible. Working with an attorney can ensure that you receive the best outcome.