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Workers' Compensation and Medical Bills: What's Covered and Not?

July 8, 2024

Injuries and accidents can happen at any time, especially in the workplace. According to the report, exposure to hazardous materials or surroundings was the most prevalent cause of injuries resulting in time away from work in the United States.

Workers may face the heavy burden of medical bills when work injuries occur. Fortunately, workers' compensation insurance is in place to help workers cover these expenses and get the necessary medical treatment. However, understanding what is covered and what is not can be confusing. 

This blog will unravel the complexities of worker's compensation and medical bills and provide essential information to help you navigate this process. If you face difficulties with your worker's compensation claim, Worker’s Compensation Lawyers is ready to help you.

What is Workers' Compensation Insurance?

Workers' compensation insurance is a type of insurance that provides wage replacement and medical benefits to employees who have suffered job-related injuries or illnesses. It is designed to protect employers and employees in work-related accidents or injuries. Most employers are required by law to have workers' compensation insurance to ensure their workers are adequately cared for in case of an on-the-job injury.

What Medical Bills Does Workers' Compensation Cover?

Workers' compensation insurance covers various medical bills for treating work-related injuries or illnesses. These include but are not limited to:

  • Doctor's Visits

Workers' compensation insurance will cover any necessary visits to your primary care physician or a specialist related to your work injury or illness. Keep track of all your appointments and follow your doctor's instructions for proper documentation.

  • Medical Treatment

Workers' compensation insurance covers all medical treatments for work-related injuries or illnesses. This may include physical therapy, medication, surgery, or medical equipment. It is essential to keep track of all your medical expenses and submit them for reimbursement.

  • Hospitalization

If your work-related injury or illness requires you to stay in the hospital, workers' compensation insurance will cover the cost of hospitalization, including any necessary surgeries or procedures.

  • Diagnostic Tests

Workers ' compensation insurance will cover any diagnostic tests, such as X-rays, MRIs, or blood work, necessary to determine the extent of your injury or illness.

  • Travel Expenses

Workers' compensation insurance can cover your transportation costs if you travel for medical treatment related to your work injury or illness.

  • Vocational Rehabilitation

Suppose your work injury or illness leaves you unable to perform your job. In that case, workers' compensation insurance may cover job retraining costs or vocational rehabilitation to help you return to work.

  • Prescription Medication

Workers ' compensation insurance will cover any medication your doctor prescribes for your work-related injury or illness.

What Medical Bills are Not Covered by Workers' Compensation?

While workers' compensation insurance covers a wide range of medical expenses, there are certain situations where medical bills may not be covered. Some examples include:

  • Pre-Existing Conditions

If you have a pre-existing condition not caused by your job, your employer's workers' compensation insurance may not cover any related medical expenses.

  • Self-Inflicted Injuries

Injuries that were intentionally caused by the employee will not be covered by workers' compensation insurance.

  • Intoxication

If you were under the influence of drugs or alcohol at the time of your accident, your medical bills may not be covered by workers' compensation insurance.

  • Travel for Personal Reasons

While travel expenses related to medical treatment are covered, workers' compensation insurance does not cover travel expenses for personal reasons.

  • Injuries Outside of Work

Workers' compensation insurance only covers injuries and illnesses while performing work-related duties. If your injury happened outside of work, it may not be covered.

How Much Does Workers' Compensation Pay?

The average workers comp settlement an employee receives depends on several factors and can vary significantly from case to case. Some of the critical factors that influence workers' compensation payments include:

  • Type and Severity of Injury: The type and severity of the injury also play a significant role in determining workers’ compensation payment. A minor injury, such as a sprained ankle, may not result in substantial lost wages. In contrast, a severe injury, such as a traumatic brain injury, may require a longer recovery time and result in higher compensation.
  • Average Weekly Wage (AWW): The employee’s average weekly wage is another essential factor in determining workers’ compensation payment. This is usually based on the employee’s earnings in the weeks or months leading up to the injury, and the percentage of wages covered by workers’ compensation can vary based on this amount.
  • Causation: The injury or illness must be work-related to receive workers' compensation. If there is any dispute over whether the injury was caused by work, this can affect the compensation received.
  • Duration of Disability: Employees who cannot work for an extended period due to an injury or illness may receive a higher compensation amount to cover their lost wages. If they can only work for a short period, their compensation may be lower.

To gain more information, read this comprehensive guide on “How Much Does Workers Comp Pay?.”

The Importance of Hiring a Work Compensation Lawyer

Sometimes, workers' compensation claims can be complicated and challenging to navigate. In these situations, it is highly recommended that you seek the assistance of a work compensation lawyer. A work compensation lawyer is a legal professional who specializes in workers' compensation cases and can help you with the following:

  • Evaluate Your Claim: A work compensation lawyer can review your case and determine if you have a valid claim.
  • Gather Evidence: A work compensation lawyer can help you gather all the necessary documentation and evidence to strengthen your claim.
  • Negotiate with Insurance Companies: Insurance companies may try to reduce or deny your benefits. A work compensation lawyer can negotiate with them and ensure you receive the proper compensation.
  • Appeal Denials: If your workers' compensation claim is denied, a work compensation lawyer can help you appeal the decision and fight for your rights.
  • Protect Your Rights: A work compensation lawyer will ensure that your rights are protected throughout the process and that you receive the maximum benefits you are entitled to under the law.

Get the Compensation You Deserve!

In conclusion, workers' compensation insurance is essential in providing financial support for workers who suffer from work-related injuries or illnesses. However, it is crucial to understand what is covered and what is not to avoid surprises. 

If you are facing difficulties with your workers compensation claims and lawsuits, do not hesitate to seek the help of a Workers Compensation Lawyer. They have the knowledge and experience to guide you through the process and ensure you receive the compensation you deserve.

Our team of experienced work comp lawyers is here to help. Contact us for a free consultation today, and let us fight for your rights. Trust us to be your legal advocates during this challenging time. 

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The material on this site is for informational purposes only and DOES NOT CONSTITUTE THE PROVIDING OF MEDICAL ADVICE, and is not intended to be a substitute for independent professional medical judgment, advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare provider with any questions or concerns you may have regarding your health.

Disclaimer: Workers-Compensation-Lawyers.org is not an attorney referral service or a law firm. Workers-Compensation-Lawyers.org does not provide legal advice of any sort. We are a free matching service, and all claim reviews will be performed by a third party attorney. We do not recommend, nor do we endorse any attorneys that pay to participate in our service. No attorney-client relationship is formed when you submit the form and you are under no obligation to retain an attorney who may contact you through this service.

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