Although every state in the U.S. offers some form of workers’ compensation for those injured at work, the programs themselves vary greatly. Take, for example, the maximum compensation for losing a limb while on the job. In Illinois, you might receive as much as $439,858, but in Alabama, the maximum payout is only $48,840 - nearly $400,000 less.
When paired with the varied availability of services, maximum monthly compensation, and maximum time-frame for receiving that compensation, these massive disparities and differences can make a substantial difference in the lives of injured workers. A new study, conducted by the Workers Compensation Research Institute, sought to understand how by examining the long-term recovery and outcomes of victims in 15 states.
Access to Services Vary Significantly from State to State
When workers are injured, they often need medical treatment and services, such as physical therapy and/or occupational therapy. In some cases, the injured employee may be pressured to use a physician selected by the employer or the employer’s insurance company. In others, access to the physician of their choosing may be limited or otherwise restricted. Still in others, getting approval for the necessary services from workers’ compensation can be problematic. These reasons, among many others, can contribute to difficulty obtaining services.
According to the study's findings, anywhere from 11 percent to 21 percent of injured workers who had participated in the project experienced a great deal of difficulty in getting the services they or their providers wanted or believed necessary. Wisconsin and Michigan proved to provide the most access to wanted or needed services, while injured workers in Kentucky and Florida experienced the most problems in obtaining the services they or their providers wanted or needed.
Struggle in Obtaining Services May Affect Injured Workers’ Chances of Returning to Work
Although not a direct reflection of a workers’ odds of returning to work, results appeared to be at least somewhat comparable. For example, 18 percent of injured workers in Kentucky reported difficulties in obtaining the services they or their physicians wanted or needed. Kentucky also had one of the highest post-injury unemployment rates, with 13 percent of workers never making it back to work and 18 percent could never sustain work for more than 30 days after their injury. Furthermore, Kentucky workers who were able to eventually return to work took, on average, four weeks longer to do so than the best-performing state (Iowa).
Injured on the Job? Get the Compensation and Coverage You Deserve
When you are injured on the job, your employer is obligated to ensure you receive proper care and treatment. Moreover, those that are injured and out of work because of their injuries are entitled to temporary disability payments to help them survive until they can return to work. Unfortunately, many will attempt to get out of this obligation, if given even half the chance, and the insurance companies will do anything and everything they can to deny claims, short-change victims, and cut off benefits the moment they find even the slightest reason to do so.
At Kinnally Flaherty Krentz Loran Hodge & Masur P.C., we have decades of experience in helping injured workers receive the care, treatment, and benefits they are entitled to. Skilled in this highly complex area of the law, we ensure your rights and best interest are protected and work as a strong advocate for you and your family. To learn how we can help with your work injury case, contact us today and schedule your free initial consultation. Call our Aurora, Illinois work injury lawyers at 630-907-0909 today.