Burn injuries can cause extensive damage and require long-term, expensive treatments. Those injured on the job may be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits.
While these types of benefits do not cover all your damages after a work-related burn accident and they certainly do not undo the harm and pain you suffered, they can help you make ends meet while you are recovering from your injuries.
How do I know if I qualify for workers’ compensation benefits for a burn injury?
So long as you are an employee and your burn injury occurred within the course and scope of your employment, you should be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits.
Your employer will generally not have to pay for the benefits out-of-pocket. Most employers must carry workers’ compensation insurance. It is the insurer that will be responsible for paying for your benefits if you sustained an injury at work.
What types of workers compensation benefits are available?
Each state varies on the types and amounts of benefits to which employees are entitled after a work injury. Generally, you are entitled to four types of benefits:
- Wage replacement: You should qualify for weekly wage replacement or disability benefits until you are able to return to work. In many states, the benefits are equal to two-thirds of pre-injury wages, though this varies by state.
- Medical benefits: The insurer should cover your emergency care, hospitalization, surgeries, prescriptions, and all other medical expenses related to your burn.
- Rehabilitation: If your burn injuries are such that you cannot return to your old job, you might have access to job rehabilitation services. This might include job training, education, and job placement.
- Death benefits: When a worker dies because of a work accident, the worker’s family is entitled to monetary benefits.
Can I receive compensation for my pain and emotional damages?
Burn injuries can cause a significant amount of emotional and psychological harm. Serious burns can cause scarring and disfigurement that can lead to permanent and life-changing emotional damage. Post-traumatic stress disorder, depression, and social anxiety disorders are commonplace amongst burn victims.
Unfortunately, workers’ compensation does not account for these types of intangible harm, and the benefits do not provide compensation for emotional damages related to burns or any other types of injuries.
However, depending on the details surrounding the injury, employees may qualify to file a third-party claim in addition to workers’ compensation. If an outside party (not the employer or co-worker), such as the manufacturer of a defective machine or a chemical agent that did not have adequate warnings, caused the burn accident, then a third-party liability claim may be in order.
With a third-party claim, you can recover a wider range of damages, including those for pain and emotional harm.
What should I do after a burn accident at work?
Obviously, your first task is to seek medical attention immediately if you sustain a burn injury at work. You will also need to report the incident to your employer and file a workers’ compensation claim.
It is a good idea to run your case by a local work injury attorney to determine if you have any other means of recovering compensation. Naturally, you want to ensure you maximize all of your legal options while you are recovering from your burn injuries.
Our lawyer referral specialists can help you find a lawyer to help with your workers’ compensation claim and any personal injury claims. Call 844-549-8774.