Frequently Asked Questions About Workers’ Comp
At the Friedman Law Offices, we see value in not only advocating for hardworking Nebraska residents suffering from workplace injuries, but also serving as a trusted and vital resource. You will not get the facts from insurance companies. But you will from us.
Our attorneys’ knowledge of the law is thorough and up-to-date, allowing us to answer various client questions, including:
What are the benefits I can receive?
- Payment of medical bills for all reasonable and necessary treatment needed as a result of the accident
- Mileage reimbursement for travel to and from doctors
- Prescription medications reimbursement
- Weekly disability payments for time missed from work
- Payments to compensate for permanent impairment or disability
- Vocational rehabilitation help
How are workers’ compensation benefits determined?
Workers’ compensation benefits are established by state law. Each state has its own set of laws governing workers’ compensation benefits. At Friedman Law Offices, we are familiar with the statutes and laws for the state of Nebraska. The answers to each of the following questions are based on Nebraska workers’ compensation law.
Which states’ laws will govern my claim?
If your injury happened in Nebraska or if your employer is located in Nebraska, then Nebraska law would apply to your case. However, it is possible that the laws of other states might also apply, depending on the individual facts and circumstances of your case. Sometimes it is advantageous to consider bringing your claim in a different state depending on the laws of that state and the benefits that are offered. At Friedman Law Offices, we can help determine which workers’ compensation laws would apply to your case and help you contact an attorney in another state if you need one.
What kinds of injuries are covered?
Workers’ compensation benefits should be paid for any injuries that result from accidents or occupational diseases that arise out of your employment. An accident can be a single, well-defined event, but it can also be a series of repetitive or cumulative activities. An occupational disease is an illness or a disease that is particular to a specific job or industry.
Heart attacks, strokes and mental illnesses can also be covered by Nebraska workers’ compensation law under certain circumstances.
What should I do if I have been hurt on the job?
This is what you should do if you have been injured on the job or have developed an occupational disease:
- Notify your employer as soon as possible. Fill out a written accident report if one is made available for you.
- Seek medical treatment as soon as is practical. Make sure you give the doctor a full and accurate description of the accident or work activities that have caused your injuries.
- Follow your doctor’s recommendations regarding tests and treatment. Make copies of any work restrictions that your doctor gives to you and give the original to your employer.
- Keep track of your time off work. Also keep receipts for any expenses you incur for things like prescriptions.
- Do not sign any documents for your employer unless you completely understand them.
Do I have to prove that my employer was at fault to collect workers’ compensation benefits?
The answer to this question is “No.” Workers’ compensation benefits are not based on a determination of negligence or fault. As long as your injury occurred in the course and scope of your employment, you should be entitled to collect workers’ compensation benefits.
Do I need my employer’s permission to go to a doctor?
No. You can and should go see a doctor as soon as you feel it is medically necessary. Your employer and their insurance company are responsible for paying all reasonable and necessary medical expenses arising from your injury. They do not have to be approved ahead of time.
May I see my family physician?
Yes. If you have a family doctor, someone who has treated you or an immediate member of your family for any condition prior to the date of injury, you are entitled to choose that doctor to provide the initial medical treatment for your work injury. That doctor can subsequently refer you to other providers, including specialists, if it becomes necessary. If you do not have a family doctor, then your employer may have the right to choose the doctor for your initial evaluation.
What happens if I have to miss work?
Nebraska workers’ compensation law requires your employer or their insurance company to pay “temporary disability benefits” if you have to miss work while you recover from an injury. These benefits are supposed to be two-thirds of your average weekly wage. These benefits should start with the second week that you are off work. Your employer does not have to pay for the first week that you miss unless you end up missing more than six weeks of work.
If you are able to go back to work, but are limited in the amount of work that you can do, and if, because of those limitations, you are not earning as much as you earned prior to the injury, you may also be entitled to some partial disability benefits. Your eligibility for temporary disability ends when you are released back to work full time or have reached maximum medical improvement.
What happens if I do not completely recover from my injury?
Workers’ compensation law requires your employer and their insurance company to pay what are called “permanent disability benefits” if you do not completely recover from your injuries and have some permanent impairment. According to the Nebraska statutes, these benefits are supposed to be weekly payments. The amount of these weekly payments will be dependant on the kind of injury you have and how bad the impairment is. What your doctors have to say about your permanent condition is very important to this determination, but the amount of these benefits might also depend on how your injuries affect your ability to continue working.
Should I consider a lump-sum settlement?
Sometimes instead of collecting workers’ compensation benefits in weekly installments, it is possible to accept a lump-sum settlement. There are both advantages and disadvantages to consider when deciding whether to accept a lump-sum settlement or collect your benefits in weekly installments. A lawyer can help you determine which option is best for you.
Do I need to hire a lawyer to collect workers’ compensation benefits?
You do not necessarily need a lawyer to collect the workers’ compensation benefits to which you are entitled. Sometimes your employer and their insurance company will voluntarily pay the appropriate workers’ compensation benefits in your case. However, the calculation of workers’ compensation benefits can be complicated. Your employer or their insurance company usually has someone in their corner, the claims adjuster, who is trained in this area and handles these cases every day.
If you have any concerns over whether you are collecting everything to which you may be entitled, you should consult with a competent workers’ compensation lawyer. At Friedman Law Offices, we offer a free consultation to anyone who wants to discuss their workers’ compensation claim. We will evaluate your case and let you know whether everything is being paid as it should. If we do not think you need a lawyer, we will tell you.
If I hire Friedman Law Offices, how will fees be handled?
If we feel we can help in your case, we will offer a contingency fee arrangement. This means our fee will be based on a percentage of those benefits, which we can help you collect. There will not be any fee unless we succeed in helping you collect your benefits.
Contact Our Outstanding Firm For A Free Initial Consultation
If you have suffered a workplace injury, contact an experienced workers’ compensation lawyer at Friedman Law Offices. We have successfully advocated for clients throughout the state of Nebraska. You can contact us at 888-419-6876 for an immediate evaluation of your case at no cost to you.