How Does Workers’ Compensation Work?

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Follow The Steps To Claiming Your Workers’ Compensation Benefits

Workers’ compensation is a no-fault system designed to protect employers from litigation and employees’ right to medical treatment and wage replacement after a work-related injury. The vast majority of employers in Nebraska and Iowa, as in other states, are required to carry workers’ compensation insurance coverage for their employees.

An injury or condition eligible for workers’ compensation benefits must have occurred while the employee was engaged in work duties. Questions sometimes arise when an employee was on the way to work but not there yet, or at a company-sponsored recreational event. When there are doubts about eligibility, injured workers should consult with an attorney as soon as possible.

At Dowd & Corrigan, LLC, we efficiently and compassionately address questions for injured workers in Nebraska and Iowa. Each of our attorneys has about 20 years of experience, for a total combined experience of more than 70 years. We can address your situation right away to help you avoid any delays in receiving benefits you are eligible for.

Get Your Case Underway As Soon As Possible After An Injury Or Diagnosis

You may receive directions from the human resources division of your employer, but to be sure you receive advice designed to protect your rights, we recommend that you consult with a lawyer.

Rules for tapping into benefits may vary. For example, injured state employees are required to give notice within 24 hours of the injury-causing incident or diagnosis to preserve eligibility for benefits. For most workers, the steps to obtaining compensation after a workplace injury are as follows:

  • The injured worker must report the injury to their employer in a timely manner. Normally, this means within a day or two after an accident or diagnosis; but if the worker is hospitalized and unable to communicate, “as soon as possible” is the expectation.
  • The employee may generally select their own doctor if they have an established personal or family physician. Alternatively, the employer may select a doctor if the employee does not have or choose one.
  • The employer has 10 days to file a report of the alleged occupational injury or illness with the respective state’s workers’ compensation commission.
  • The employer must notify the insurer.
  • The insurer will investigate and begin making payments within 30 days or deny the claim.
  • If a claim is denied or if there are disputes such as over the selection of a doctor, an injured employee may bring an appeal before an administrative hearing handled by the workers’ compensation commission.
  • If disputes continue, an appeal may go before a state or federal court.

For personalized guidance, speak with one of our dedicated workers’ compensation lawyers. We have ample experience to draw on as we advise you.

Types Of Benefits You May Receive

Depending on the facts of your injury or illness, you may be eligible for:

  • Medical care, hospitalization and prescribed medications and devices
  • Disability benefits, depending on the degree and duration of disability:
    • Temporary Total Disability (TTD) beginning a week after the injury, totaling 66 2/3 of the injured person’s wages up to a maximum of $671 per week
    • Permanent Total Disability (PTD) of the same dollar amounts applicable to TTD, but lasting for the duration of the disability
    • Permanent Partial Disability (PPD) of up to a maximum of $644 per week for up to 300 weeks and a maximum amount payable of $201,300.

Other Avenues Of Relief

Beyond your workers’ compensation claim, you may be able to recover additional financial relief through a third-party liability claim (brought against someone or some entity that is not your employer) and/or Social Security Disability benefits if your injury leaves you unable to work for a year or longer. These sources of compensation are completely separate from your workers’ comp claim and should not affect the disability payments you may receive through workers’ compensation.

Learn More

We are passionate about helping injured workers recover all compensation and benefits available to them. Let us hear your story and explain what we can do. Call 800-349-7981 or inquire through our website.