How Much Do I Get Paid And When?
Delaware workers' compensation laws encourage prompt payment of benefits so that an employee does not suffer any undue hardship. Before making payments, most insurance companies or self-insured employers require a written report of injury (which is usually completed and filed by the employer) and some medical verification of the injury.
In certain cases, if the benefits are not paid when due, or are unreasonably delayed or denied, the employee may be entitled to interest or penalty benefits. Once benefits start, the payments shall be terminated only when the employee has returned to work, or upon 30 days' notice stating the reason for the termination and advising the employee of the right to file a claim with the workers' compensation commissioner.
In general, an employee with a work-related illness or injury can get workers' compensation benefits regardless of who was at fault. In exchange for these guaranteed benefits, employees usually do not have the right to sue the employer in court for damages for those injuries.What Benefits Are Paid?
Workers' compensation is the payment (usually by your employer's workers' compensation carrier) of three separate benefits when work either causes or worsens a medical condition:
- Temporary disability benefits are tax-free weekly benefits representing 70 percent of your gross weekly wage, payable up to 400 weeks. These benefits are payable while you are temporarily unable to work because of a work-related medical condition and under active medical treatment.
- Medical treatment includes all reasonable and necessary medical charges to treat your work-related medical condition. The carrier has the initial right to authorize specific physicians who are competent to treat your condition. If a problem arises concerning the medical treatment you require, you have the right to make an application to a judge. With our assistance, we can work with you and the judge for a determination as to what, if any, additional compensable medical treatment you require.
- Permanent partial disability is additional compensation that is payable to you if, after your completion of compensable medical treatment, you have a measurable loss of physical function proven by "demonstrable objective medical evidence." This benefit can be payable to you even if you are able to return to work.
The lawyers at Weik, Nitsche & Dougherty have significant experience helping clients obtain the maximum amount of workers' compensation benefits available to them under the law.
It is important to report your injury to your employer immediately. If medical attention is necessary, seek it as soon as possible after you are injured. The sooner you take the proper initial steps after suffering a workplace injury, the sooner you can file for workers' compensation.
In order to obtain the full benefits permitted by law if you are injured in a work accident, you should be represented by a competent and experienced workers' compensation settlement attorney.
We welcome the opportunity to review the facts of your case and recommend the best steps to take. All workers' compensation cases are taken on a contingency fee basis, which means you do not pay attorney fees unless we obtain a recovery for you. Contact us to schedule an appointment.