Workplace injuries are more common than some people realize. Unfortunately, most work-related injuries that occur are preventable.
While this is true, there were still over 2.6 million workplace injuries across the U.S. in 2020, with 4,764 being fatal.
With these types of numbers, it may not be if you experience a workplace accident, but when. If you do find yourself in this situation, hiring a workers’ compensation lawyer is highly recommended. This will help you better understand your situation and workers’ compensation law. Keep reading to learn more about some of the average payouts for common workplace injuries.
The Average Payout for Work-Related Injuries
Based on the information provided by the National Safety Council, some of the payouts for at-work injuries include the following:
- Amputation or loss of limb: $113,000
- Bone fracture, crush, or dislocation: $60,000
- Burn injuries: $53,000
- Rupture, puncture, or laceration: $33,000
- Strain or sprain: $32,000
- Carpal tunnel: $32,000
- Concussion: $31,000
It’s worth mentioning that these average amounts include medical and indemnity damages.
Now that you understand what the average settlement is for different workplace injuries, it’s time to learn about how you can recover these benefits. One of the best ways to do this is by using the services of a workers’ compensation lawyer.
How to Recover Workers’ Compensation Benefits for a Work-Related Injury
If you are injured at work, you may wonder how to recover workers’ compensation benefits. Some tips to help with this process are highlighted here.
Determine if You Are Eligible
To be considered eligible to receive workers’ compensation benefits, it’s necessary to meet the state’s deadlines to report your injury and file a workers’ compensation claim. In the state of South Dakota, this time period is one year.
Along with meeting filing deadlines, the following need to be true, as well. These include:
- You must be working as an employee
- Your illness or injury must be related to your job
- Your employer must have workers’ comp insurance
- You must work in a job that is required to be covered by workers’ compensation insurance
Learn more about each factor here.
You Must be Working as an Employee
The workers’ compensation system is designed to protect an employee who experiences some type of work-related injury. It doesn’t provide protection for individuals who are not employees, which includes volunteers and independent contractors.
While this is true, just because you are referred to as an independent contractor, it does not mean that you are one. If a worker is an independent contractor or employee from a legal standpoint depends on what they are classified as for tax purposes, not what they are called. It is also determined by the amount of control they have over the work they do.
Usually, volunteers are not entitled to receive workers’ compensation coverage. You can speak to an attorney to see if this is the case for you.
Your Illness or Injury Must be Related to Your Job
If you want to receive workers’ compensation benefits, you must prove that your illness or injury is “work-related” if you were doing a task that benefited your employer and the injury or illness was the result. The injury doesn’t have to occur at a worksite but must occur during your employment.
The injury is usually not considered to be work-related if the following are present:
- The injury took place on your lunch break unless you eat on the company property, or
- The injury occurred during the drive to or from work when you are driving a company vehicle, are required to have your own vehicle for business use during the day, were running special errands for your employer, or were on a trip for business.
Your Employer Must Have Workers’ Comp Insurance
Most employers are required by state law to carry workers’ compensation insurance. While this is true, there are several exceptions to this. One example is smaller employers that have just two to five workers. These businesses are not required to provide workers’ comp coverage.
If you are injured or develop an illness on the job, and your employer does not have workers’ comp insurance, even though the state requires it, you can file a personal injury lawsuit in civil court against your employer.
You Must Work in a Job That Is Required to Be Covered by Workers’ Compensation Insurance
There are some workers who are exempt from or not covered by workers’ comp coverage. The most common exceptions to the requirements include:
- Caregivers, housekeepers, and other domestic workers
- Clergy members
- Farmworkers or agricultural workers
- Seasonal or casual workers
- Taxi drivers
- Real estate agents
Additionally, maritime workers, railroad workers, and federal employees that have a different workers’ compensation or some other system of compensation are excluded from this.
What To Do After a Workplace Injury?
If you are injured at work, it is important to take the right steps to protect your right to benefits. These steps include:
- Receiving the required medical treatment
- Reporting the injury to your employer right away and in writing if you can
- Filling out the claim forms required to receive workers’ compensation benefits
- Going to all medical appointments and following your doctor’s treatment plan
- Finding and hiring an experienced workers’ compensation attorney
Understanding Your Rights to Benefits After a Workplace Accident and Injury
If you are injured while on the job, it’s not unusual to wonder what your claim will be worth. While this may be something you want to know, it’s important to remember that every workplace accident claim is unique. Because of this, it is best to have an attorney who understands your case and situation. This is going to ensure that you receive the benefits you are entitled to.
Workers’ compensation claims can be challenging, but the proper legal representation will help you with each step of the process. Our team is ready to help you with your situation. Being informed is the best way to ensure that you receive the benefits you are entitled to after a workplace injury or illness.