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How much is my workers' compensation claim worth?

Missing hours at work, the bills pile up, and you wonder how your family will make it after the next paycheck comes in short. Getting injured on the job can be frightening, especially when you do not know if a worker's compensation claim will get you anywhere. A workers' compensation claim can cover the time you missed from work, but many people do not know that a claim can cover a lot more than just lost wages.

In order to figure out how large your compensation claim will amount to you can consider the following factors:

1. Missed days at work

Add up the amount of wages you would have made from the work days missed due to an injury. Those wages can be made back in a workers' compensation claim. Did you know that you do not need to miss any work in order to file a claim? If you have acquired costs from the remaining items in this list then you could still file a claim.

2. Medical bills

All medical bills such as a visit to the emergency room, a doctor's appointment, and all proceeding care can be covered by a workers' compensation claim. Tests, medicine, even travel costs can be covered from the injury. Medical care must be paid by your work if you are injured on the job, whether you have missed any days at work or not.

3. Temporary disability benefits

If you were injured on the job and cannot perform your usual job for a period of time then you can get payment. For example you may receive temporary disability payments if your job is to lay flooring but you broke your hand. These payments will go on until you have recovered. For a temporary disability benefit in 2016 the payments could range anywhere from $169 per week to $1,128 per week according to the Department of Industrial Relations.

4. Permanent disability benefits

If you do not fully recover from an injury at work then you can receive higher payments. Although money cannot replace what has been lost it can help you live your life more normally again. A permanent disability would be considered loss of mental or physical function. For permanent disability you can take an example of a worker who earned more than $435 per week at a small business. This worker permanently lost the ability to see in one eye in 2014 and received a total payment of $34,437. If that same person lost a part of their finger then they could gain $9,932 for their other injury.

5. Job displacement benefits

If you have been disabled and can no longer work in your current company, or if the company does not offer you work then you could get supplement job displacement benefits. Many people don't know that they can also receive a one-time payment from the Return-to-Work Supplement Program. As an example, let's say the same worker above was no longer offered work through their employer. They could earn $6,000 for supplemental job displacement benefits.

6. Death benefits

The loss of a loved one will be devastating and costly. If your spouse or parent has passed away due to an on the job injury then you will be eligible to receive death benefit payments. In an example for someone who left behind two dependants, they could receive $10,000 for their family. For someone with three or more dependants could receive $320,000. These payments will continue on for any child of someone who died from a work injury until the child reaches 18.

The above examples can give you some insight into how significantly a workers' compensation claim can make a difference. It is important to work with an experienced attorney who can help you get the claim that you deserve.

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Bender & Gritz, APLC
350 10th Avenue, Suite 900
San Diego, CA 92101

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