Workers’ Compensation Video Series – Part 4 of 5

What should you know if you’ve been injured on the job and need Workers’ Compensation? Attorney Ben Schwartz continues his series on what information an injured employee should know and what your employer may not always tell you. 

Workers’ Compensation Video Series –
Part 4 of 5

TRANSCRIPT:

Hi, I’m Attorney Ben Schwartz.

Today, we’re continuing with our series of videos about workers’ compensation and the things employers don’t tell their injured employees after an on-the-job accident.

We’re going to talk about other employment that may become available. A lot of employers have a policy that if you’re injured on-the-job and you cannot return to employment in the job that you had (in the job you were doing), a lot of employers will provide you with some alternate job that you can do that is less burdensome and within your physical limitations.

When you are out of work due to an injury, Delaware workers’ compensation will provide what is called total disability lost wages. Your lost wage payments are going to be two-thirds of your average weekly wage. A lot of people can’t make it on two-thirds of their average weekly wage. Sometimes, our clients will have disability insurance that makes up the difference between the two-thirds and their full wage. A lot of times they won’t. For example, maybe you are injured. Your doctor tells you that you cannot return to work. You just had surgery. If you return to work, the job duties may make your injury worse. You may find that you are stuck in a position where you can’t get back to work. You will only get two-thirds of what you were making and that’s not enough to pay the bills.

If you ask your employer if there’s alternate work that you could do, they might have a policy that says “If someone is injured on-the-job and they asked to come back in an alternate position with different duties (with different job requirements) we’ll make that available.” Sometimes, you have to ask.

We find these situations in workers’ comp cases where our client has had surgery.  You are sitting at home and crawling the walls. You can’t stand being at home. You are bored.  You need to keep your mind active. You need to do work. For your own mental health, you need to get back into the swing of things, but you can’t because the doctor has given you no work restrictions that bars you from working. And if you go to your employer and say, “Instead of being out on total disability lost wages, I want to come back to work, but in a limited capacity. Do you have anything for me?” Often, we find that the employer will say, “Oh, as a matter of fact, we do.” You just have to ask for it.

If you’re injured on-the-job and you’re out of work, you can ask your employer if there is some light-duty work that you could do. They might provide it to you. All you need to do is go to your doctor and give the doctor a description of what you’re planning to do. Ask the doctor to approve you to go back to that. You can return to work in a modified or light-duty capacity so that you can earn a full amount of wages rather than the two-thirds the average weekly wage that you get under workers’ comp insurance.

Thanks for watching!

Please watch the final video in our workers’ compensation video series here.

Workers’ Compensation Video Series –
Part 4 of 5

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