Workers’ compensation can do many things, but the two main areas of focus are medical bills and lost wages. Essentially, if you get hurt at work, you should have coverage to make sure you don’t pay your own medical bills and that you still have some income — though perhaps not 100% of your pre-injury wages — while you recover.
Getting proper medical treatment helps to keep costs down because your condition does not get worse. This is just one reason why it’s important to meet with medical professionals quickly after an injury. You can then keep track of your costs to seek the right level of compensation. But what are those costs? What counts toward the total that workers’ comp should cover?
What did your injury require?
The costs you see will directly relate to the nature of your injury. For instance, someone with carpal tunnel syndrome may drive themselves to the doctor as the condition worsens. Someone who breaks their hip in a fall may need to be taken there by an ambulance — adding thousands to their bill. With that in mind, some examples of costs include:
- A visit to the ER
- A ride in an ambulance or a medical helicopter
- The cost of diagnostic testing
- Visits to the doctor’s office, both immediately after the injury and for follow-up purposes
- Prescription medications
- Treatments such as surgery
- The cost of rehabilitation during recovery
- In-patient or in-home care
- The use of prosthetics and other medical devices
The best way to think of it is just to draw a link between each event. First, you link the injuries you suffered to the incident that happened at work — such as a ladder fall. Next, you link all of the costs incurred to that injury. Anything that you wouldn’t have needed to pay for if you did not get hurt on the job may be covered.
Do you know what steps to take?
Getting proper compensation can have a drastic impact on your recovery and your future. Make sure you are well aware of the legal steps you need to take.