Workers’ Compensation Lawyers in Dover, DE, Helping Employees Protect Their Rights
If you were injured in an on-the-job accident in Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, or Pennsylvania, you may be entitled to recover compensation for the losses you suffer. The first thing many people think of in such accidents, however, is filing a personal injury lawsuit. In most cases, this is not the appropriate response. A workers’ compensation lawyer in Dover, DE can help you better understand the nuances of the law.
At Schwartz & Schwartz, our workers’ comp attorneys have spent years helping injured employees get the compensation they deserve. Lost wages, medical care, and other financial losses can add up quickly after an accident. This is why you should take immediate action after being hurt on the job. In some instances, you may even be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits and a personal injury lawsuit.
What Is Workers’ Compensation Insurance?
Workers’ compensation insurance applies to on-the-job injuries in Delaware and other states. It is a form of “no-fault” insurance. This means that it pays without regard to who was at fault. For instance, imagine that you’re the victim of a slip and fall accident while working at a grocery store.
In such a situation, the law typically will not care whether your own negligence or that of your employer led to the accident. You would receive workers’ comp regardless. This is meant to reduce the potential load on our courts. If a third party was involved in your accident, though, you may be entitled to more than just workers’ compensation benefits.
What Does Workers’ Compensation Cover?
Workers’ compensation covers reimbursement for medical expenses. If you seek medical attention after a work accident, you should make sure that you report the accident to your medical providers. Doctors and therapists must be approved in Delaware to handle work-related accident claims.
If you lose time from work due to a compensable work accident, your workers’ compensation will reimburse your lost wages at a rate of 2/3 your average weekly wage. If you are unable to return to work making the same wage as before, workers’ compensation could also make up the difference between what you previously made and what you are able to earn after your injury. If your work accident results in a permanent injury, you may be entitled to even higher compensation to help deal with a permanent impairment or partial impairment.
Scarring or other disfiguration may also result in a right to receive compensation. For example, if you have surgery after a work accident, you may be able to receive monetary compensation for any surgical scars. Or if the work accident involves burns that result in scarring, you may receive compensation for that “disfigurement.”
What Should You Do After a Work-Related Accident?
After sustaining an on-the-job injury, you should immediately notify your employer. You should then seek appropriate medical assistance. Your employer has a duty to generate a “first report of injury.” This is a requirement under the law. Unfortunately, some employers will fail to take this duty seriously — or they could outright deny your claim. These are just a few of the situations where workers’ compensation lawyers can help protect your rights. Regardless of the circumstances of your case, it never hurts to speak with a legal professional.
Can I Be Fired in Delaware for Filing Workers’ Compensation Claims?
No. While Delaware employment is generally “at-will” — meaning that either you or your employer can terminate your relationship at any time — you cannot be fired simply for seeking benefits after an injury. Delaware employers cannot take any adverse employment actions — such as terminating or demoting you — in retaliation for filing a workers’ compensation claim. If this happens to you, it’s imperative that you reach out to our Dover, DE workers’ compensation lawyers today.
Can I Choose My Own Doctors?
Yes. Often after a serious work accident, though, your employer or their workers’ comp insurance adjuster will direct you to a specific medical doctor or therapist. These professionals are contracted to accept their referrals in return for a break in medical costs. Often, injured workers find these cut-rate insurance company doctors to be less than satisfactory. If you are more interested in getting top-quality care than in saving money for insurers, you should find your own medical providers. During our free consultations at Schwartz & Schwartz, we inform all potential clients of doctors they can seek treatment from that have no conflict of interest.
What’s the Statute of Limitations on Workers’ Compensation Claim?
The statute of limitations on a Delaware workers’ compensation claim is two years from the date of injury. Once your claim has been acknowledged, though, the statute shifts to five years from the last benefit payment date. At Schwartz & Schwartz, our Dover workers’ compensation lawyers serve more than just Delaware residents. If you’ve been injured in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, or any other state, the statute of limitations may differ.
What types of workers’ compensation claims do Schwartz & Schwartz handle?
Our attorneys represent the families of Delaware workers who are killed in job-related accidents. We also represent people severely injured in on-the-job accidents. Depending on the industry someone works in, the hazards they’ll face can vary dramatically. Regardless of the risks inherent to a job, though, many workplace injuries are surprisingly similar. These injuries can include:
- Broken bones or fractures
- Shoulder injuries such as rotator cuff tears and labral tears
- Knee injuries such as meniscus tears and ACL tears
- Spinal injuries such as herniated discs, paraplegia, and quadriplegia
- Eye injuries resulting in visual field loss or blindness
- Traumatic amputations
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Serious burns
This list may seem long, but it’s nowhere near exhaustive. Our workers’ compensation attorneys have handled all types of cases. While you’ll likely be told that a lawsuit isn’t an option, this isn’t the case for all injuries. In fact, an accident that involves a third party could result in a personal injury or wrongful death claim. Contact the personal injury and workers’ comp lawyers at Schwartz & Schwartz to learn more.
Workers’ Compensation Lawyers in Dover, DE Can Help
If you sustained an injury while on the job, you typically have the right to compensation. In many cases, you may not even need an attorney for the process! Unfortunately, there are instances where you may be unfairly denied benefits. Additionally, failure to speak with a personal injury attorney after your accident could leave valuable compensation on the table. This is likely to happen if you secure workers’ compensation benefits but don’t realize that a third party may also be liable for your injury. That’s one of many reasons why seeking legal counsel is so important.
At Schwartz & Schwartz, Attorneys at Law, we understand the difficulties that come from on-the-job accidents. Unfortunately, we’ve seen far too many injured employees wrongfully denied benefits and even misled about whether they’re entitled to additional damages. Don’t be taken advantage of after involvement in a serious accident. Contact us today by calling 302-678-8700.